Modification Strategies on Engineering Electrocatalysts Related to Nanomaterials

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (24 May 2024) | Viewed by 12946

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Welding and Joining, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Interests: electrocatalysts; memory alloy; nanomaterials

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Guest Editor
Institute of Engineering Innovation, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
Interests: electrocatalysts; defective nanomaterials

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Guest Editor
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
Interests: advanced electrode materials design and mechanism study for energy storage devices

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Clean Energy Chemistry and Materials, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Interests: design of advanced metal anodes for metal batteries and capacitors/construction for Li-S and Li-air batteries

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Guest Editor
School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Chongqing University of Technology, Chongqing 400054, China
Interests: electrocatalytic reduction of CO2; mesoporous materials for catalysis; surface regulation of electrocatalysts by low temperature plasma technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, electrocatalysis undeniably plays a key role in energy conversion and storage technologies, which shows wide applications encompassing fuel cells, water splitting devices and metal-air batteries. Therefore, searching and constructing highly active, stable electrocatalysts for energy conversion and storage devices is extremely appealing. Owing to the slow kinetics of electrocatalytic reactions that strongly restrict their performances and applications, modification strategies on engineering electrocatalysts should be proposed to enhance the activity of electrocatalysts. Starting from atomic structures, catalytic mechanisms, and functionality, the developments of modification strategies require comprehensive design perspectives. Consequently, it is anticipated that these modification strategies offer some new understandings on rationally constructing highly active and stable electrocatalysts for energy conversion and storage devices.

The present Special Issue of Nanomaterials is aimed at presenting the current state-of-the-art in the use of modification strategies on engineering electrocatalysts, a field that has been hot topics among these years. For example, nanostructure design, defects engineering and strain engineering are often proposed to modify the electrocatalytic performances. However, deep understanding of relationships among modification strategy, atomic structures, fundamental mechanism, and functionality are strongly needed, which may pay new ways for further investigations. The proposed Special Issue is inviting original articles in form of communications, full papers, and reviews demonstrating the progress in the research fields of modification strategies on engineering electrocatalysts from atomic structures, fundamental mechanism, and functionality, which shows applications in energy conversion and storage devices.

Dr. Xiaohang Zheng
Dr. Jinghuang Lin
Dr. Xijun Wei
Dr. Bao Liu
Dr. Qiang Zhang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • modification strategies
  • electrocatalyst
  • energy conversion and storage
  • atomic structure
  • fundamental mechanism

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

9 pages, 3597 KiB  
Article
Rational Construction of Pt Incorporated Co3O4 as High-Performance Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction
by Peijia Wang, Yaotian Yan, Bin Qin, Xiaohang Zheng, Wei Cai and Junlei Qi
Nanomaterials 2024, 14(11), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano14110898 - 21 May 2024
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Electrocatalysts in alkaline electrocatalytic water splitting are required to efficiently produce hydrogen while posing a challenge to show excellent performances. Herein, we have successfully synthesized platinum nanoparticles incorporated in a Co3O4 nanostructure (denoted as Pt-Co3O4) that [...] Read more.
Electrocatalysts in alkaline electrocatalytic water splitting are required to efficiently produce hydrogen while posing a challenge to show excellent performances. Herein, we have successfully synthesized platinum nanoparticles incorporated in a Co3O4 nanostructure (denoted as Pt-Co3O4) that show superior HER activity and stability in alkaline solutions (the overpotentials of 37 mV to reach 10 mA cm−2). The outstanding electrocatalytic activity originates from synergistic effects between Pt and Co3O4 and increased electron conduction. Theoretical calculations show a significant decrease in the ΔGH* of Co active sites and a remarkable increase in electron transport. Our work puts forward a special and simple synthesized way of adjusting the H* adsorption energy of an inert site for application in HER. Full article
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11 pages, 2727 KiB  
Article
Plasma-Engineered CeOx Nanosheet Array with Nitrogen-Doping and Porous Architecture for Efficient Electrocatalysis
by Zhou Wang, Tong Li and Qi Wang
Nanomaterials 2024, 14(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano14020185 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 678
Abstract
Surface engineering has been proved efficient and universally applicable in improving the performance of CeO2 in various fields. However, previous approaches have typically required high-temperature calcination or tedious procedures, which makes discovery of a moderate and facile modification approach for CeO2 [...] Read more.
Surface engineering has been proved efficient and universally applicable in improving the performance of CeO2 in various fields. However, previous approaches have typically required high-temperature calcination or tedious procedures, which makes discovery of a moderate and facile modification approach for CeO2 an attractive subject. In this paper, porous CeO2 nanosheets with effective nitrogen-doping were synthesized via a low-temperature NH3/Ar plasma treatment and exhibited boosted hydrogen evolution reaction performance with low overpotential (65 mV) and long-term stability. The mechanism of the elevated performance was investigated by introducing Ar-plasma-treated CeO2 with no nitrogen-doping as the control group, which revealed the dominant role of nitrogen-doping by providing abundant active sites and improving charge transfer characteristics. This work illuminates further investigations into the surface engineering methodologies boosted by plasma and the relative mechanism of the structure–activity relationship. Full article
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22 pages, 2616 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Potential of Heteroatom-Doped Graphene Nanoribbons as a Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction
by Eduardo S. F. Cardoso, Guilherme V. Fortunato, Clauber D. Rodrigues, Marcos R. V. Lanza and Gilberto Maia
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(21), 2831; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13212831 - 26 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
In this study, we created a series of N, S, and P-doped and co-doped carbon catalysts using a single graphene nanoribbon (GNR) matrix and thoroughly evaluated the impact of doping on ORR activity and selectivity in acidic, neutral, and alkaline conditions. The results [...] Read more.
In this study, we created a series of N, S, and P-doped and co-doped carbon catalysts using a single graphene nanoribbon (GNR) matrix and thoroughly evaluated the impact of doping on ORR activity and selectivity in acidic, neutral, and alkaline conditions. The results obtained showed no significant changes in the GNR structure after the doping process, though changes were observed in the surface chemistry in view of the heteroatom insertion and oxygen depletion. Of all the dopants investigated, nitrogen (mainly in the form of pyrrolic-N and graphitic-N) was the most easily inserted and detected in the carbon matrix. The electrochemical analyses conducted showed that doping impacted the performance of the catalyst in ORR through changes in the chemical composition of the catalyst, as well as in the double-layer capacitance and electrochemically accessible surface area. In terms of selectivity, GNR doped with phosphorus and sulfur favored the 2e ORR pathway, while nitrogen favored the 4e ORR pathway. These findings can provide useful insights into the design of more efficient and versatile catalytic materials for ORR in different electrolyte solutions, based on functionalized carbon. Full article
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14 pages, 7812 KiB  
Article
Binary Ni-Co-Based Layered Double Hydroxide Nanoneedle Arrays for High Performance of Oxygen Evolution Reaction
by Zhi Lu, Zhihao Zhou, Shilin Li, Gongliang Tan, Hangtian Chen, Zishuo Ge, Chong Chen and Guangxin Wang
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(13), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13131941 - 26 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Low-cost and high-performance electrocatalysts are crucial for water-splitting reactions. Some non-precious metal electrocatalysts are proved to be good replacements for noble metal due to the unique electronic structure features and excellent performance. In this work, binary Ni-Co-based layered double hydroxide nanoneedle arrays electrocatalysts [...] Read more.
Low-cost and high-performance electrocatalysts are crucial for water-splitting reactions. Some non-precious metal electrocatalysts are proved to be good replacements for noble metal due to the unique electronic structure features and excellent performance. In this work, binary Ni-Co-based layered double hydroxide nanoneedle arrays electrocatalysts are synthesized on Ni foam (NF) via a hydrothermal process. The microstructure and the catalytic performance of the catalyst changes significantly by regulating the molar ratio of Ni/Co. The theoretical analysis confirmed that the as-prepared NiCo-LDH nanoneedle arrays reveal a potential behavior in oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at a lower overpotential of 305 mV at 10.0 mA cm−2 and a Tafel slope of 110.38 mV dec−1. The double-layer capacitance (Cdl) is 776 mF cm−2, which indicates that there are many active sites that are exposed on the surface for the electrocatalytic reaction. The results provide an obvious reference value to other types of LDH catalysts for the development of water electrolysis. Full article
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12 pages, 6609 KiB  
Article
One-Step Electrochemical Dealloying of 3D Bi-Continuous Micro-Nanoporous Bismuth Electrodes and CO2RR Performance
by Wenqin Lai, Yating Liu, Mingming Zeng, Dongmei Han, Min Xiao, Shuanjin Wang, Shan Ren and Yuezhong Meng
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(11), 1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13111767 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
The rapid development of electrochemical CO2 reduction offers a promising route to convert intermittent renewable energy into products of high value-added fuels or chemical feedstocks. However, low faradaic efficiency, low current density, and a narrow potential range still limit the large-scale application [...] Read more.
The rapid development of electrochemical CO2 reduction offers a promising route to convert intermittent renewable energy into products of high value-added fuels or chemical feedstocks. However, low faradaic efficiency, low current density, and a narrow potential range still limit the large-scale application of CO2RR electrocatalysts. Herein, monolith 3D bi-continuous nanoporous bismuth (np-Bi) electrodes are fabricated via a simple one-step electrochemical dealloying strategy from Pb-Bi binary alloy. The unique bi-continuous porous structure ensures highly effective charge transfer; meanwhile, the controllable millimeter-sized geometric porous structure enables easy catalyst adjustment to expose highly suitable surface curvatures with abundant reactive sites. This results in a high selectivity of 92.6% and superior potential window (400 mV, selectivity > 88%) for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to formate. Our scalable strategy provides a feasible pathway for mass-producing high-performance and versatile CO2 electrocatalysts. Full article
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11 pages, 2665 KiB  
Article
Iron-Doped Monoclinic Strontium Iridate as a Highly Efficient Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalyst in Acidic Media
by Mengjie Li, Jiabao Ding, Tianli Wu and Weifeng Zhang
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(5), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13050797 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Ir-based perovskite oxides are efficient electrocatalysts for anodic oxygen evolution. This work presents a systematic study of the doping effects of Fe on the OER activity of monoclinic SrIrO3 to reduce the consumption of Ir. The monoclinic structure of SrIrO3 was [...] Read more.
Ir-based perovskite oxides are efficient electrocatalysts for anodic oxygen evolution. This work presents a systematic study of the doping effects of Fe on the OER activity of monoclinic SrIrO3 to reduce the consumption of Ir. The monoclinic structure of SrIrO3 was retained when the Fe/Ir ratio was less than 0.1/0.9. Upon further increases in the Fe/Ir ratio, the structure of SrIrO3 changed from a 6H to 3C phase. The SrFe0.1Ir0.9O3 had the highest activity among the investigated catalysts with the lowest overpotential of 238 mV at 10 mA cm−2 in 0.1 M HClO4 solution, which could be attributed to the oxygen vacancies induced by the Fe dopant and the IrOx formed upon the dissolution of Sr and Fe. The formation of oxygen vacancies and uncoordinated sites at the molecular level may be responsible for the improved performance. This work explored the effect of Fe dopants in boosting the OER activity of SrIrO3, thus providing a detailed reference to tune perovskite-based electrocatalyst by Fe for other applications. Full article
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12 pages, 3572 KiB  
Article
Enhancement of the Electrochemical Performances of Composite Solid-State Electrolytes by Doping with Graphene
by Xinghua Liang, Dongxue Huang, Linxiao Lan, Guanhua Yang and Jianling Huang
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(18), 3216; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12183216 - 16 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1685
Abstract
With high safety and good flexibility, polymer-based composite solid electrolytes are considered to be promising electrolytes and are widely investigated in solid lithium batteries. However, the low conductivity and high interfacial impedance of polymer-based solid electrolytes hinder their industrial applications. Herein, a composite [...] Read more.
With high safety and good flexibility, polymer-based composite solid electrolytes are considered to be promising electrolytes and are widely investigated in solid lithium batteries. However, the low conductivity and high interfacial impedance of polymer-based solid electrolytes hinder their industrial applications. Herein, a composite solid-state electrolyte containing graphene (PVDF-LATP-LiClO4-Graphene) with structurally stable and good electrochemical performance is explored and enables excellent electrochemical properties for lithium-ion batteries. The ionic conductivity of the composite electrolyte membrane containing 5 wt% graphene reaches 2.00 × 10−3 S cm−1 at 25 °C, which is higher than that of the composite electrolyte membrane without graphene (2.67 × 10−4 S cm−1). The electrochemical window of the composite electrolyte membrane containing 5 wt% graphene reaches 4.6 V, and its Li+ transference numbers reach 0.84. Assembling this electrolyte into the battery, the LFP/PVDF-LATP-LiClO4-Graphene /Li battery has a specific discharge capacity of 107 mAh g−1 at 0.2 C, and the capacity retention rate was 91.58% after 100 cycles, higher than that of the LiFePO4/PVDF-LATP-LiClO4/Li (LFP/PLL/Li) battery, being 94 mAh g−1 and 89.36%, respectively. This work provides a feasible solution for the potential application of composite solid electrolytes. Full article
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9 pages, 26330 KiB  
Article
In Situ Grown Vertically Oriented Graphene Coating on Copper by Plasma-Enhanced CVD to Form Superhydrophobic Surface and Effectively Protect Corrosion
by Xiaohang Zheng, Yaqian Yang, Yi Xian, Heng Chen and Wei Cai
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(18), 3202; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12183202 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Graphene exhibits great potential for the corrosion protection of metals, because of its low permeability and high chemical stability. To enhance the anticorrosion ability of Cu, we use plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) to prepare a vertically oriented few-layer graphene (VFG) coating on [...] Read more.
Graphene exhibits great potential for the corrosion protection of metals, because of its low permeability and high chemical stability. To enhance the anticorrosion ability of Cu, we use plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) to prepare a vertically oriented few-layer graphene (VFG) coating on the surface of Cu. The Cu coated with VFG shows superhydrophobic surface with a contact angle of ~150°. The VFG coating is used to significantly increase the anticorrosion ability, enhanced by the chemical stability and the unique geometric structure of vertically oriented graphene. The corrosion rate of VFG-Cu was about two orders of magnitude lower than that of bare Cu. This work highlights the special synthesized way of PECVD and superhydrophobic surface of vertical structures of graphene as coatings for various applications. Full article
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14 pages, 3222 KiB  
Article
Plasma-Engineered N-CoOx Nanowire Array as a Bifunctional Electrode for Supercapacitor and Electrocatalysis
by Qi Wang, Tongtong Zhong and Zhou Wang
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 2984; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12172984 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1120
Abstract
Surface engineering has achieved great success in enhancing the electrochemical activity of Co3O4. However, the previously reported methods always involve high-temperature calcination processes which are prone to induce agglomeration of the nanostructure, leading to the attenuation of performance. In [...] Read more.
Surface engineering has achieved great success in enhancing the electrochemical activity of Co3O4. However, the previously reported methods always involve high-temperature calcination processes which are prone to induce agglomeration of the nanostructure, leading to the attenuation of performance. In this work, Co3O4 nanowires were successfully modified by a low-temperature NH3/Ar plasma treatment, which simultaneously generated a porous structure and efficient nitrogen doping with no agglomeration. The modified N-CoOx electrode exhibited remarkable performance due to the synergistic effect of the porous structure and nitrogen doping, which provided additional active sites for faradic transitions and improved charge transfer characteristics. The electrode achieved excellent supercapacitive performance with a maximum specific capacitance of 2862 mF/cm2 and superior cycling retention. Furthermore, the assembled asymmetric supercapacitor (N-CoOx//AC) device exhibited an extended potential window of 1.5 V, a maximum specific energy of 80.5 Wh/kg, and a maximum specific power of 25.4 kW/kg with 91% capacity retention after 5000 charge–discharge cycles. Moreover, boosted hydrogen evolution reaction performance was also confirmed by the low overpotential (126 mV) and long-term stability. This work enlightens prospective research on the plasma-enhanced surface engineering strategies. Full article
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12 pages, 2861 KiB  
Article
Pearson’s Principle-Inspired Robust 2D Amorphous Ni-Fe-Co Ternary Hydroxides on Carbon Textile for High-Performance Electrocatalytic Water Splitting
by Rong Hu, Huiyu Jiang, Jinglin Xian, Shiyun Mi, Liyun Wei, Guangyu Fang, Jiayue Guo, Siqi Xu, Ziyang Liu, Huanyu Jin, Huimin Yu and Jun Wan
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(14), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12142416 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1743
Abstract
Layered double hydroxide (LDH) is widely used in electrocatalytic water splitting due to its good structural tunability, high intrinsic activity, and mild synthesis conditions, especially for flexible fiber-based catalysts. However, the poor stability of the interface between LDH and flexible carbon textile prepared [...] Read more.
Layered double hydroxide (LDH) is widely used in electrocatalytic water splitting due to its good structural tunability, high intrinsic activity, and mild synthesis conditions, especially for flexible fiber-based catalysts. However, the poor stability of the interface between LDH and flexible carbon textile prepared by hydrothermal and electrodeposition methods greatly affects its active area and cyclic stability during deformation. Here, we report a salt-template-assisted method for the growth of two-dimensional (2D) amorphous ternary LDH based on dip-rolling technology. The robust and high-dimensional structure constructed by salt-template and fiber could achieve a carbon textile-based water splitting catalyst with high loading, strong catalytic activity, and good stability. The prepared 2D NiFeCo-LDH/CF electrode showed overpotentials of 220 mV and 151 mV in oxygen evolution and hydrogen evolution reactions, respectively, and simultaneously had no significant performance decrease after 100 consecutive bendings. This work provides a new strategy for efficiently designing robust, high-performance LDH on flexible fibers, which may have great potential in commercial applications. Full article
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