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The development of efficient and cost-effective catalysts to catalyze a wide variety of electrochemical reactions is key to realize the large-scale application of renewable and clean energy technologies. Owing to the maximum atom-utilization efficiency and unique electronic and geometric structures, single atom catalysts (SACs) have exhibited superior performance in various catalytic systems. Recently, assembled from the functionalized organic linkers and metal nodes, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with ultrafine porosity have received tremendous attention as precursors or self-sacrificing templates for preparing porous SACs. Here, the recent advances toward the synthesis strategies for using MOF precursors/templates to construct SACs are systematically summarized with special emphasis on the types of central metal sites. The electrochemical applications of these recently emerged MOF-derived SACs for various energy-conversion processes, such as oxygen reduction/evolution reaction (ORR/OER), hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), and CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR), are also discussed and reviewed. Finally, the current challenges and prospects regarding the development of MOF-derived SACs are proposed.

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Publication history

Received: 01 January 2019
Revised: 14 February 2019
Accepted: 15 February 2019
Published: 11 March 2019
Issue date: September 2019

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Key R & D Program of China (No. 2016YFA0202801), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21671117, 21871159, 21890383, and 21676018), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M610864).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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