Issue 5, 2021

Pyrolysis-free polymer-based oxygen electrocatalysts


High-performance electrocatalysts play a vital role in various sustainable energy conversion and storage technologies. Although enormous carbon-based materials have been developed and exhibited efficient electrocatalytic ability comparable to precious metal catalysts, the obtained blurry structure seriously hampered the understanding of the nature of electrocatalysis. Pyrolysis-free polymers are a competitive type of materials owing to their high-density uniform building units, tailorable chemical structure and diverse topology structure, which demonstrate promising catalytic performances for multifarious important reactions. In particular, the absence of a pyrolysis process promises well-preserved active sites, laying a solid foundation for mechanism research. In this review, the recent developments of pyrolysis-free polymers including porous organic polymers, metal organic frameworks, and linear conjugated polymers for oxygen electrocatalysis are summarized. The engineering strategies and their influence on boosting the electrocatalytic performance are concluded, particularly the impact of electronic structure engineering and hybrid synergistic effect. Finally, we further discuss current challenges and future directions for maximizing the advantages of polymer-based electrocatalysts without pyrolysis. This review aims to highlight the importance of pyrolysis-free polymer-based electrocatalysts and their potential to become the guideline for preparing high practical value catalysts by virtue of their clear structure–activity relationship.

Graphical abstract: Pyrolysis-free polymer-based oxygen electrocatalysts

Article information

Article type
Review Article
29 Jan 2021
22 Mar 2021
First published
22 Mar 2021

Energy Environ. Sci., 2021,14, 2789-2808

Pyrolysis-free polymer-based oxygen electrocatalysts

B. Huang, L. Li, X. Tang, W. Zhai, Y. Hong, T. Hu, K. Yuan and Y. Chen, Energy Environ. Sci., 2021, 14, 2789 DOI: 10.1039/D1EE00306B

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