Atomic engineering of single-atom nanozymes for enzyme-like catalysis
Enzyme mimics, especially nanozymes, play a crucial role in replacing natural enzymes for diverse applications related to bioanalysis, therapeutics and other enzyme-like catalysis. Nanozymes are catalytic nanomaterials with enzyme-like properties, which currently face formidable challenges with respect to their intricate structure, properties and mechanism in comparison with enzymes. The latest emergence of single-atom nanozymes (SAzymes) undoubtedly promoted the nanozyme technologies to the atomic level and provided new opportunities to break through their inherent limitations. In this perspective, we discuss key aspects of SAzymes, including the advantages of the single-site structure, and the derived synergetic enhancements of enzyme-like activity, catalytic selectivity and the mechanism, as well as the superiority in biological and catalytic applications, and then highlight challenges that SAzymes face and provide relevant guidelines from our point of view for the rational design and extensive applications of SAzymes, so that SAzyme may achieve its full potential as the next-generation nanozyme.