About this Research Topic
Worldwide crises in energy as well as in environmental contamination have compelled us to develop green and sustainable alternatives to conventional fossil fuels. Hydrogen, for example, has a high combustion value (1.4 ×108 J/kg, roughly 2788 times that of methane), and its only combustion product is H2O. For this reason, it has been regarded as the most promising renewable green energy source.
One method that has been developed for hydrogen generation is water-splitting, which is facilitated by different types of catalysts. Tremendous efforts have been made to prepare high-efficiency electrocatalysts, for example, aiming to maximize catalytic activity. As generally acknowledged, state-of-the-art electrocatalysts are based on noble metals, such as Pt, IrO2, and RuO2. Unfortunately, high cost, natural scarcity, and poor stability make them unsuitable for extensive industrial applications. Thus, seeking earth-abundant and non-precious electrocatalysts is highly desirable.
Numerous innovative and substantial efforts have been dedicated to the development of such alternative catalysts, one of which involves the utilization of highly efficient, ultra-stable, earth-abundant, and low-toxicity non-noble-metal-based electrocatalysts to boost catalytic activity. Among non-noble-metal-based electrocatalysts, various metal oxide families (such as spinel, perovskite, layer structure oxide, and other metal oxides), metal alloys, metal hydroxides, metal sulfides, metal selenides, metal phosphides, metal nitrides, and metal borides, have been demonstrated to exhibit electrocatalytic activity. Therefore, such non-precious electrocatalysts are a promising path toward hydrogen generation.
We welcome the submission of Original Research papers, Reviews, and Perspectives on themes including, but not limited to:
• Design of non-noble-metal-based electrocatalysts for Hydrogen-Evolution Reaction (HER) and Oxygen-Evolution Reaction (OER)
• Tailoring structure and/or composition of transition-metal oxides, sulfides, selenides, etc.
• In situ observation of electrochemical processes in catalysis and beyond
• New understandings of electrocatalytic mechanisms in HER and OER
• Surface/interface engineering of electrocatalysts, involving non-noble metals
• Theoretical work on non-noble-metal-based electrocatalysts
Keywords: Electrocatalysts, Non-precious metal, Oxygen-evolution reaction, Hydrogen-evolution reaction
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.