Spatial engineering of single-atom Fe adjacent to Cu-assisted nanozymes for biomimetic O2 activation

Ying Wang, Vinod K. Paidi, Weizhen Wang, Yong Wang, Guangri Jia, Tingyu Yan, Xiaoqiang Cui, Songhua Cai, Jingxiang Zhao, Kug Seung Lee, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee, Kwok Yin Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The precise design of single-atom nanozymes (SAzymes) and understanding of their biocatalytic mechanisms hold great promise for developing ideal bio-enzyme substitutes. While considerable efforts have been directed towards mimicking partial bio-inspired structures, the integration of heterogeneous SAzymes configurations and homogeneous enzyme-like mechanism remains an enormous challenge. Here, we show a spatial engineering strategy to fabricate dual-sites SAzymes with atomic Fe active center and adjacent Cu sites. Compared to planar Fe–Cu dual-atomic sites, vertically stacked Fe–Cu geometry in FePc@2D-Cu–N–C possesses highly optimized scaffolds, favorable substrate affinity, and fast electron transfer. These characteristics of FePc@2D-Cu–N–C SAzyme induces biomimetic O2 activation through homogenous enzymatic pathway, resembling functional and mechanistic similarity to natural cytochrome c oxidase. Furthermore, it presents an appealing alternative of cytochrome P450 3A4 for drug metabolism and drug–drug interaction. These findings are expected to deepen the fundamental understanding of atomic-level design in next-generation bio-inspired nanozymes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2239
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2024


  • biocatalysis
  • bioinspired materials
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • single-atom catalysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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