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  4. Selective electrochemical two-electron oxygen reduction is a promising route for renewable and on-site H2O2 generation as an alternative to the anthraquinone process. Herein, we report a high-performance nitrogen-coordinated single-atom Pd electrocatalyst, which is derived from Pd-doped zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) through one-step thermolysis. High-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) combined with X-ray absorption spectroscopy verifies atomically dispersed Pd atoms on nitrogen-doped carbon (Pd-NC). The single-atom Pd-NC catalyst exhibits excellent electrocatalytic performance for two-electron oxygen reduction to H2O2, which shows ∼95% selectivity toward H2O2 and an unprecedented onset potential of ∼0.8 V versus revisable hydrogen electrode (RHE) in 0.1 M KOH. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations demonstrate that the Pd-N4 catalytic sites thermodynamically prefer *–O bond breaking to O–O bond breaking, corresponding to a high selectivity for H2O2 production. This work provides a deep insight into the understanding of the catalytic process and design of high-performance 2e– ORR catalysts.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 22, 2023
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    Changes in the local atomic arrangement in a crystal caused by lattice-mismatch-induced strain can efficiently regulate the performance of electrocatalysts for zinc–air batteries (ZABs) in many manners, mainly due to modulated electronic structure configurations that affect the adsorption energies for oxygen-intermediates formed during oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR and OER). However, the application of strain engineering in electrocatalysis has been limited by the strain relaxation caused by structural instability such as dissolution and destruction, leading to insufficient durability towards the ORR/OER. Herein, we propose a doping strategy to modulate the phase transition and formation of self-supported cobalt fluoride–sulfide (CoFS) nanoporous films using a low amount of copper (Cu) as a dopant. This well-defined Cu–CoFS heterostructure overcomes the obstacle of structural instability. Our study of the proposed Cu–CoFS also helps establish the structure–property relationship of strained electrocatalysts by unraveling the role of local strain in regulating the electronic structure of the catalyst. As a proof-of-concept, the Cu–CoFS electrocatalyst with doping-modulated strain exhibited superior onset potentials of 0.91 V and 1.49 V for the ORR and OER, respectively, surpassing commercial Pt/C@RuO 2 and benchmarking non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts. ZABs with the Cu–CoFS catalyst delivered excellent charge/discharge cycling performance with anmore »extremely low voltage gap of 0.5 V at a current density of 10 mA cm −2 and successively 0.93 V at a high current density of 100 mA cm −2 and afforded an outstanding peak power density of 255 mW cm −2 .« less
  6. Electrochemical CO 2 or CO reduction to high-value C 2+ liquid fuels is desirable, but its practical application is challenged by impurities from cogenerated liquid products and solutes in liquid electrolytes, which necessitates cost- and energy-intensive downstream separation processes. By coupling rational designs in a Cu catalyst and porous solid electrolyte (PSE) reactor, here we demonstrate a direct and continuous generation of pure acetic acid solutions via electrochemical CO reduction. With optimized edge-to-surface ratio, the Cu nanocube catalyst presents an unprecedented acetate performance in neutral pH with other liquid products greatly suppressed, delivering a maximal acetate Faradaic efficiency of 43%, partial current of 200 mA⋅cm −2 , ultrahigh relative purity of up to 98 wt%, and excellent stability of over 150 h continuous operation. Density functional theory simulations reveal the role of stepped sites along the cube edge in promoting the acetate pathway. Additionally, a PSE layer, other than a conventional liquid electrolyte, was designed to separate cathode and anode for efficient ion conductions, while not introducing any impurity ions into generated liquid fuels. Pure acetic acid solutions, with concentrations up to 2 wt% (0.33 M), can be continuously produced by employing the acetate-selective Cu catalyst in our PSE reactor.
  7. Iridium oxide (IrO 2 ) is one of the best known electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) taking place in a strongly acidic solution. IrO 2 nanocatalysts with high activity as well as long-term catalytic stability, particularly at high current densities, are highly desirable for proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEM-WE). Here, we report a simple and cost-effective strategy for depositing ultrafine oxygen-defective IrO x nanoclusters (1–2 nm) on a high-surface-area, acid-stable titanium current collector (H-Ti@IrO x ), through a repeated impregnation–annealing process. The high catalytically active surface area resulting from the small size of IrO x and the preferable electronic structure originating from the presence of oxygen defects enable the outstanding OER performance of H-Ti@IrO x , with low overpotentials of 277 and 336 mV to deliver 10 and 200 mA cm −2 in 0.5 M H 2 SO 4 . Moreover, H-Ti@IrO x also shows an intrinsic specific activity of 0.04 mA cm catalyst −2 and superior mass activity of 1500 A g Ir −1 at an overpotential of 350 mV. Comprehensive experimental studies and density functional theory calculations confirm the important role of oxygen defects in the enhanced OER performance. Remarkably, H-Ti@IrO x can continuously catalyzemore »the OER in 0.5 M H 2 SO 4 at 200 mA cm −2 for 130 hours with minimal degradation, and with a higher IrO x loading, it can sustain at such a high current density for over 500 hours without significant performance decay, holding substantial promise for use in PEM-WE.« less