Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon Supported Nonprecious Metal Single-Atom Electrocatalysts: from Synthesis to Application

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Journal Article
Small Methods, 2019, 3 (9)
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© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Nonprecious metal single-atom materials have attracted extensive attention in the field of electrocatalysis due to their low cost, high reactivity, high selectivity, and high atomic utilization. However, the high surface energy of a single atom causes agglomeration during preparation and catalytic measurement, resulting in damage to the catalytic sites. The strong interaction between substrate and monoatoms is the key factor to prevent the aggregation of individual metal atoms, and the geometry and electronic structure of the catalysts can be adjusted to optimize the catalytic activity. Due to the hierarchically pores, high specific surface area, and defect effect, nitrogen-doped porous carbon (NPC) has been widely studied as an ideal nonprecious metal single-atom support, which synergistically enhance the electrocatalytic performance toward oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen evolution reaction, hydrogen evolution reaction, carbon dioxide reduction reaction, and nitrogen reduction reaction with non-noble metal single atoms. This review summarizes the controllable synthesis, characterization, theoretical calculation, and application of M (M = Co, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Mo, etc.) single atoms on nitrogen-doped porous carbon. Finally, the future development and challenges of nitrogen-doped porous carbon supported nonprecious metal single-atom electrocatalysts for practical commercialization are concluded.
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