Single atom electrocatalysts supported on graphene or graphene-like carbons
Electrocatalysis plays an essential role in diverse electrochemical energy conversion processes that are vital for improving energy utilization efficiency and mitigating the aggravating global warming challenge. The noble metals such as platinum are generally the most frequently used electrocatalysts to drive these reactions and facilitate the relevant energy conversion processes. The high cost and scarcity of these materials pose a serious challenge for the wide-spread adoption and the sustainability of these technologies in the long run, which have motivated considerable efforts in searching for alternative electrocatalysts with reduced loading of precious metals or based entirely on earth-abundant metals. Of particular interest are graphene-supported single atom catalysts (G-SACs) that integrate the merits of heterogeneous catalysts and homogeneous catalysts, such as high activity, selectivity, stability, maximized atom utilization efficiency and easy separation from reactants/products. The graphene support features a large surface area, high conductivity and excellent (electro)-chemical stability, making it a highly attractive substrate for supporting single atom electrocatalysts for various electrochemical energy conversion processes. In this review, we highlight the recent advancements in G-SACs for electrochemical energy conversion, from the synthetic strategies and identification of the atomistic structure to electrocatalytic applications in a variety of reactions, and finally conclude with a brief prospect on future challenges and opportunities.