About this Research Topic
This Topic has been realized in collaboration with Dr. Chi Chen Postdoctoral Associate in NanoEngineering Department, University of California San Diego (UCSD)
Due to the ever-increasing demand for energy, the depletion of fossil fuels, and environmental deterioration (e.g., climate change and pollution), the development of efficient energy conversion and storage technologies is of critical importance. Fuel cells (e.g. solid oxide fuel cells and polymer electrolyte fuel cells), electrolysis cells/electrochemical water splitting, and metal-air batteries are among the most promising energy conversion and storage technologies. The electrochemical processes on the electrodes are the core of these technologies. Typically, electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) occur at the cathode and anode of a fuel cell, while hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) take place at the cathode and the anode of an electrolysis cell, ORR and OER on oxygen electrodes are pertinent processes of rechargeable metal-air batteries.
The kinetics of the four electrochemical processes determines the electrochemical performance of related devices. Proton and electron involved sluggish ORR and OER are key barriers. Generally, electrocatalysts play a critical role in electrochemical processes, precious metals/metal oxides are the best-known electrocatalysts, but the scarcity and high cost limit the practical applications. Therefore, the development of electrocatalysts, characterized by high activity, long durability, and low cost, could potentially promote the deployment of these advanced energy conversion and storage technologies. Recently, considerable efforts have been made to design and develop highly-efficient and stable electrocatalysts for ORR/OER/HER. Thanks to the employment of synthetic chemistry and nanochemistry, a variety of novel electrocatalysts such as carbon-based materials, transition metal oxides, carbides, and sulfides have been intensively investigated. However, the ORR/OER/HER processes on these emerging electrocatalysts are still poorly understood, and the activity still lags behind that of precious-metal based electrocatalysts.
Accordingly, recent advances to be highlighted in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to the following contributions:
(a) Controllable synthesis, advanced characterizations (operando, in situ, or ex situ), and systematic evaluation of efficient electrocatalysts for ORR/OER/HER.
(b) Incorporation of the active and robust electrocatalysts into advanced devices such as fuel cells, electrochemical water splitting, and metal-air batteries.
(c) Providing fundamental insights from both theoretical (DFT and machine learning) and experimental electrochemistry toward a better understanding of ORR/OER/HER that can rationally guide the design of emerging electrocatalysts (e.g., perovskite oxides).
(d) New chemistries for advanced energy storage and storage.
Authors are welcome to submit original research articles, perspectives and reviews.
Keywords: Electrocatalysts, Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), Hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), Oxygen evolution reaction (OER), Electrochemical conversion, storage devices
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