Metallic nanostructures with low dimensionality for electrochemical water splitting
Metallic nanostructures with low dimensionality (one-dimension and two-dimension) possess unique structural characteristics and distinctive electronic and physicochemical properties including high aspect ratio, high specific surface area, high density of surface unsaturated atoms and high electron mobility. These distinctive features have rendered them remarkable advantages over their bulk counterparts for surface-related applications, for example, electrochemical water splitting. In this review article, we highlight the recent research progress in low-dimensional metallic nanostructures for electrochemical water splitting including hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Fundamental understanding of the electrochemistry of water splitting including HER and OER is firstly provided from the aspects of catalytic mechanisms, activity descriptors and property evaluation metrics. Generally, it is challenging to obtain low-dimensional metallic nanostructures with desirable characteristics for HER and OER. We hereby introduce several typical methods for synthesizing one-dimensional and two-dimensional metallic nanostructures including organic ligand-assisted synthesis, hydrothermal/solvothermal synthesis, carbon monoxide confined growth, topotactic reduction, and templated growth. We then put emphasis on the strategies adopted for the design and fabrication of high-performance low-dimensional metallic nanostructures for electrochemical water splitting such as alloying, structure design, surface engineering, interface engineering and strain engineering. The underlying structure–property correlation for each strategy is elucidated aiming to facilitate the design of more advanced electrocatalysts for water splitting. The challenges and perspectives for the development of electrochemical water splitting and low-dimensional metallic nanostructures are also proposed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Electrochemistry in Energy Storage and Conversion