Spatially Confined Formation of Single Atoms in Highly Porous Carbon Nitride Nanoreactors

Yunpeng Zuo, Tingting Li, Ning Zhang, Tianyun Jing, Dewei Rao, Patrik Schmuki, Štěpán Kment, Radek Zbořil, Yang Chai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Reducing the size of a catalyst to a single atom (SA) level can dramatically change its physicochemical properties and significantly boost its catalytic activity. However, the massive synthesis of SA catalysts still remains a grand challenge mainly because of the aggregation and nucleation of the generated atoms during the reaction. Here, we design and implement a spatially confined synthetic strategy based on a porous-hollow carbon nitride (p-CN) coordinated with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazole hexafluorophosphate, which can act as a nanoreactor and allow us to obtain metal SA catalysts (p-CN@M SAs). This relatively easy and highly effective method provides a way to massively synthesize single/multiple atoms (p-CN@M SAs, M = Pt, Pd, Cu, Fe, etc.). Moreover, the amorphous NiB-coated p-CN@Pt SAs can further increase the loading amount of Pt SAs to 3.7 wt %. The synthesized p-CN@PtNiB electrocatalyst exhibits an extraordinary hydrogen evolution reaction activity with the overpotential of 40.6 mV@10 mA/cm-2 and the Tofel slope of 29.26 mV/dec.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7790–7798
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021


  • hydrogen evolution
  • ionic liquid
  • massive synthesis
  • single atom
  • spatially confined synthetic strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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