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  3. Abstract

    Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are promising for catalysis, sensing, gas storage, adsorption, optoelectricity, etc. owning to the unprecedented combination of large surface area, high crystallinity, tunable pore size, and unique molecular architecture. Although COFs are in their initial research stage, progress has been made in the design and synthesis of COF‐based electrocatalysis for the oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen evolution reaction, hydrogen evolution reaction, and CO2reduction in energy conversion and fuel generation. Design principles are also established for some of the COF materials toward rational design and rapid screening of the best electrocatalysts for a specific application. Herein, the recent advances in the design and synthesis of COF‐based catalysts for clean energy conversion and storage are presented. Future research directions and perspectives are also being discussed for the development of efficient COF‐based electrocatalysts.

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  4. Abstract

    Direct conversion of CO2into carbon‐neutral fuels or industrial chemicals holds a great promise for renewable energy storage and mitigation of greenhouse gas emission. However, experimentally finding an electrocatalyst for specific final products with high efficiency and high selectivity poses serious challenges due to multiple electron transfer, complicated intermediates, and numerous reaction pathways in electrocatalytic CO2reduction. Here, an intrinsic descriptor that correlates the catalytic activity with the topological, bonding, and electronic structures of catalytic centers on M–N–C based single‐atom catalysts is discovered. The “volcano”‐shaped relationships between the descriptor and catalytic activity are established from which the best single‐atom catalysts for CO2reduction are found. Moreover, the reaction mechanisms, intermediates, reaction pathways, and final products can also be distinguished by this new descriptor. The descriptor can also be used to predict the activity of the single‐atom catalysts for electrochemical reactions such as hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction and evolution reactions in fuel cells and water‐splitting. These predictions are confirmed by the experimental results for onset potential and Faraday efficiency. The design principles derived from the descriptors open a door for rational design and rapid screening of highly efficient electrocatalysts for CO2conversion as well as other electrochemical energy systems.

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  5. Abstract

    Carbon nanomaterials are promising metal‐free catalysts for energy conversion and storage, but the catalysts are usually developed via traditional trial‐and‐error methods. To rationally design and accelerate the search for the highly efficient catalysts, it is necessary to establish design principles for the carbon‐based catalysts. Here, theoretical analysis and material design of metal‐free carbon nanomaterials as efficient photo‐/electrocatalysts to facilitate the critical chemical reactions in clean and sustainable energy technologies are reviewed. These reactions include the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells, the oxygen evolution reaction in metal–air batteries, the iodine reduction reaction in dye‐sensitized solar cells, the hydrogen evolution reaction in water splitting, and the carbon dioxide reduction in artificial photosynthesis. Basic catalytic principles, computationally guided design approaches and intrinsic descriptors, catalytic material design strategies, and future directions are discussed for the rational design and synthesis of highly efficient carbon‐based catalysts for clean energy technologies.

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