Precious metal nanocrystals for renewable energy electrocatalysis: structural design and controlled synthesis
Electrocatalysis plays a crucial role in the transformation between electrical and chemical energy. Particularly, the search for high-performance electrocatalysts lies at the heart of numerous renewable energy conversion and storage technologies, such as water electrolysers and fuel cells, which potentially enable an energy-sustainable society. This Frontier article briefly describes the pathway from debates on “animal electricity” to the current understanding of electrocatalysis, and how knowledge can be harnessed to guide the discovery of well-defined electrocatalysts based on precious metal nanocrystals. We summarize basic design principles and key parameters associated with a good electrocatalyst and highlight the adoption of wet-chemical approaches for constructing nanocatalysts with desired structural properties. We close this article with personal perspectives on current challenges and future research directions in this field.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Frontier and Perspective articles