“More is Different:” Synergistic Effect and Structural Engineering in Double-Atom Catalysts

Yiran Ying, Xin Luo, Jinli Qiao, Haitao Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


Double-atom catalysts (DACs) have emerged as a novel frontier in heterogeneous catalysis because the synergistic effect between adjacent active sites can promote their catalytic activity while maintaining high atomic utilization efficiency, good selectivity, and high stability originating from the atomically dispersed nature. In this review, the recent progress in both experimental and theoretical research on DACs for various catalytic reactions is focused. Specifically, the central tasks in the design of DACs—manipulating the synergistic effect and engineering atomic and electronic structures of catalysts—are systematically reviewed, along with the prevailing experimental, characterization, and computational modeling approaches. Furthermore, the practical applications of DACs in water splitting, oxygen reduction reaction, nitrogen reduction reaction, and carbon dioxide reduction reaction are addressed. Finally, the future challenges for DACs are summarized and an outlook on the further investigations of DACs toward heterogeneous catalysis in high-performance energy and environmental applications is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2007423
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021


  • double-atom catalysts
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • structural engineering
  • synergistic effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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