Research Topic

Advanced Oxygen Catalytic Nanostructured Materials for Metal-air Batteries

About this Research Topic

Metal-air batteries are new energy systems in between fuel cells and traditional chemical batteries, demonstrating advantageous application prospects in emerging mobile and electric vehicles. Besides their high power/energy density, metal-air batteries also show low cost, strong safety, and environmental friendliness. However, one of the critical challenges is that metal-air batteries are limited by the slow oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the “three-phase” interface on the surface of an air electrode, on which the battery efficiency, charge-discharge rate, and cycling stability are dependent.

Currently, platinum-based metals and iridium-based materials are identified as the most promising catalysts for ORR and OER, respectively. Unfortunately, the widespread application of these noble metal-based catalysts is consequentially hindered by their high cost, insufficient catalytic-bifunctionality/stability and scarce reserves. The pursuit of low-cost non-noble metal-oxygen catalytic materials is heading in a promising direction, making scalable development of metal-air batteries. To drive the future of metal-air batteries, intensive research effort has been made to design the catalytic active nanostructured materials and to accelerate the reaction kinetics of ORR and OER via the crystallographic structure, composition, size, and morphology control.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to showcase advanced oxygen catalytic active nanostructured materials, in order to solve the key issues in metal-air batteries. In addition, we aim to gain more insights into the advanced electrocatalytic mechanism induced by these novel and unique bifunctional catalysts, especially in the exploration of electrocatalytic active sites in electrode reaction processes.

This Research Topic welcomes original research and review articles around the design and applications of advanced nanostructured materials to improve the performance for ORR and OER in metal-air batteries, with a focus on (but not limited to):

• Design and development of nanostructured bifunctional catalysts with high oxygen catalytic activity and stability
• Exploration of advanced nanostructured catalysts for metal-air batteries
• Reaction mechanisms or novel electrocatalysis insights on the nanostructured oxygen catalytic processes, via rational experiments and/or computational methods.


Keywords: metal-air batteries, nanocatalysts, electrocatalysis, catalytic oxidation, oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen 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.

Metal-air batteries are new energy systems in between fuel cells and traditional chemical batteries, demonstrating advantageous application prospects in emerging mobile and electric vehicles. Besides their high power/energy density, metal-air batteries also show low cost, strong safety, and environmental friendliness. However, one of the critical challenges is that metal-air batteries are limited by the slow oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the “three-phase” interface on the surface of an air electrode, on which the battery efficiency, charge-discharge rate, and cycling stability are dependent.

Currently, platinum-based metals and iridium-based materials are identified as the most promising catalysts for ORR and OER, respectively. Unfortunately, the widespread application of these noble metal-based catalysts is consequentially hindered by their high cost, insufficient catalytic-bifunctionality/stability and scarce reserves. The pursuit of low-cost non-noble metal-oxygen catalytic materials is heading in a promising direction, making scalable development of metal-air batteries. To drive the future of metal-air batteries, intensive research effort has been made to design the catalytic active nanostructured materials and to accelerate the reaction kinetics of ORR and OER via the crystallographic structure, composition, size, and morphology control.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to showcase advanced oxygen catalytic active nanostructured materials, in order to solve the key issues in metal-air batteries. In addition, we aim to gain more insights into the advanced electrocatalytic mechanism induced by these novel and unique bifunctional catalysts, especially in the exploration of electrocatalytic active sites in electrode reaction processes.

This Research Topic welcomes original research and review articles around the design and applications of advanced nanostructured materials to improve the performance for ORR and OER in metal-air batteries, with a focus on (but not limited to):

• Design and development of nanostructured bifunctional catalysts with high oxygen catalytic activity and stability
• Exploration of advanced nanostructured catalysts for metal-air batteries
• Reaction mechanisms or novel electrocatalysis insights on the nanostructured oxygen catalytic processes, via rational experiments and/or computational methods.


Keywords: metal-air batteries, nanocatalysts, electrocatalysis, catalytic oxidation, oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen 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.

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Submission Deadlines

20 October 2020 Abstract
17 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 October 2020 Abstract
17 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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