Defect engineering of nanostructured electrocatalysts for enhancing nitrogen reduction
Electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction reaction (e-NRR), an eco-friendly and economical approach to convert nitrogen to ammonia under mild condition, has aroused widespread attention in recent years. Defect engineering has been illustrated to be an effective strategy to improve the catalytic activity and selectivity of electrocatalysts via changing the electronic states as well as creating additional active sites for reduction reactions. Thus far, various approaches have been adopted to tune the physical and chemical properties of catalysts materials by means of inducing defects of different types, and varying their concentrations or locations in host materials. In this review, the mechanisms and design principles of defective electrocatalyst for NRR are introduced, and the refined synthesis and characterization techniques of defect engineering are systematically summarized. Based on the recent advances in defect engineering of electrocatalysts for NRR, the roles of various defect states, such as vacancies and amorphous phase, in the catalytic enhancement mechanism are comprehensively discussed. Finally, perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in developing new cost-effective and high-efficiency NRR catalysts for practical applications are outlined.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A Recent Review Articles