Robust non-Pt noble metal-based nanomaterials for electrocatalytic hydrogen generation

Jie Yu, Yawen Dai, Qijiao He, Chun Cheng, Zongping Shao, Meng Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, the electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) has been a key point of focus for developing sustainable hydrogen economy, but it is hampered by sluggish reaction kinetics. Despite the fact that various non-noble metal-based materials as electrocatalysts toward the HER are gaining considerable attention, noble metal-based nanomaterials (NMNs) for catalyzing the HER still have advantageous features, i.e., wide pH applicability, high intrinsic activity, and good stability. Considering a high chemical similarity to HER-benchmark Pt metals, various non-Pt NMNs with high atom utilization, super efficiency, and durability for HER catalysis are engineered through various structural/electronic tailoring strategies, which has become a significant trend in this research field. Herein, a panoramic review about recent representative efforts and progress in the design of non-Pt NMNs is presented. It first introduces the HER fundamentals and then generally describes the structural and electronic characteristics of non-Pt noble metals matching the HER. Followed on, different tuning strategies for fabricating effective non-Pt NMN catalysts, including composition optimizing by constructing alloys or novel compounds, morphological tuning via decreasing the particle size or designing unique nanostructures, and hybrid engineering as well as crystalline structure/facet controlling, are systemically summarized, with a special focus on the underlying structure-activity relationship for different catalysts. The features of pH universality and bifunctionality for these non-Pt NMN catalysts are also highlighted. At the end, existing challenges and future perspectives awaiting this emerging research field are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041304
JournalApplied Physics Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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