Local probe investigation of electrocatalytic activity
As the world energy crisis remains a long-term challenge, development and access to renewable energy sources are crucial for a sustainable modern society. Electrochemical energy conversion devices are a promising option for green energy supply, although the challenge associated with electrocatalysis have caused increasing complexity in the materials and systems, demanding further research and insights. In this field, scanning probe microscopy (SPM) represents a specific source of knowledge and understanding. Thus, our aim is to present recent findings on electrocatalysts for electrolysers and fuel cells, acquired mainly through scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) and other related scanning probe techniques. This review begins with an introduction to the principles of several SPM techniques and then proceeds to the research done on various energy-related reactions, by emphasizing the progress on non-noble electrocatalytic materials.