What is it about?

This review classifies different design strategies that have been applied in metal active center and the first coordination sphere, introduces the advanced characterization techniques of SACs, and finally discuss and prospect the future development of SACs towards ORR and OER.

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Why is it important?

In this review, we refer to the above improvement of the active center and coordination environment of SACs as atom-level interface modification engineering. Especially, the popular design strategies of advanced SACs towards 2e-/4e- ORR and OER in recent years will be systematically illustrated. As shown in Figure 1, it will start with the introduction of advanced characterization techniques of SACs. Subsequently, we focus on the different design strategies for regulating the interface configuration of SACs in the active center and the first coordination sphere. To distinguish the type of metal atoms, adjacent coordination dopants, and the coordination number can help us investigate the nature of single-atom active sites and greatly enrich our understandings of their catalytic activity and selectivity. When it comes to the design of the active center, we will detail the construction of dual-atom and triple-atom active centers that have triggered great interest in recent years. As far as we know, this is the first time that the development of triple-atom site catalysts towards efficient ORR and OER has been systematically summarized. Whereas in the optimization of the first coordination sphere, the influences of coordination atoms, coordination numbers and axial spatial coordination structures of SACs will be illustrated.


Up to now, the exploration of SACs has become increasingly mature. In the future, SACs need to “walk” out of the laboratory to cater for industry demand and the development of national energy strategy.

An Qizheng
University of Science and Technology of China

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This page is a summary of: Atomic‐Level Interface Engineering for Boosting Oxygen Electrocatalysis Performance of Single‐Atom Catalysts: From Metal Active Center to the First Coordination Sphere, Advanced Science, November 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/advs.202205031.
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