2-Methylimidazole-tuned “4-Self” strategy based on benzimidazole-5-carboxylate for boosting oxygen reduction electrocatalysis

Yu Xuan Dai, Wen Li Xin, Lian Hua Xu, Ji Li, Yi Xuan Li, Junji Li, Serge Cosnier, Xue Ji Zhang, Robert S. Marks, Dan Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rational design highly active transition metal or transition metal oxides/nanocarbon hybrids is one of the feasible way to deliver a cooperative oxygen reduction (ORR) with a synergistic effect of the hybrid interface. Herein, based on benzimidazole-5-carboxylate (BIMC), CoO/Co-N-C nanocomposites are fabricated via 2-methylimidazole (2-MeIm)-tuned “4-Self” strategy, namely, self-templating, self-adapting, self-assembly and self-catalysis. As a base competitive ligand with N and C sources, 2-MeIm modulates the dispersion of BIMC in methanol to generate collodial-like BIMC tiny particles, the coordination ability of BIMC to Co(II), the composition and morphology of the self-assembled precursor (Co-BM), and as well as the conductivity of the resultant electrocatalyst. Impressing, carbonization of Co-BM at 800 °C under N2 atmosphere endows the pyrolysis product (Co-BM-800) with the well-dispersed Co/CoO riveted on nitrogen-doped carbon, as well as the enhanced ORR performance in terms of positive onset-potential (0.890 V vs. RHE), large diffusion limiting current density (5.21 mA cm−2), and high stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153066
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2022


  • 2-Methylimidazole
  • Benzimidazole-5-carboxylic acid
  • Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
  • “4-Self” strategy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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