Atomically Dispersed Pentacoordinated-Zirconium Catalyst with Axial Oxygen Ligand for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

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Single-atom catalysts (SACs), as promising alternatives to Pt-based catalysts, suffer from the limited choice of center metals and low single-atom loading. Here, we report a pentacoordinated Zr-based SAC with nontrivial axial O ligands (denoted O−Zr−N−C) for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The O ligand downshifts the d-band center of Zr and confers Zr sites with stable local structure and proper adsorption capability for intermediates. Consequently, the ORR performance of O−Zr−N−C prominently surpasses that of commercial Pt/C, achieving a half-wave potential of 0.91 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode and outstanding durability (92 % current retention after 130-hour operation). Moreover, the Zr site shows good resistance towards aggregation, enabling the synthesis of Zr-based SAC with high loading (9.1 wt%). With the high-loading catalyst, the zinc-air battery (ZAB) delivers a record-high power density of 324 mW cm−2 among those of SAC-based ZABs.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202209746
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2022

External IDs

Mendeley 7fa57404-f874-3ea4-984b-c7969f7cce00


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • High Single-Atom Loading, Oxygen Reduction Reaction, Pentacoordinated Configuration, Single-Atom Catalysts, Zinc-Air Battery