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Amorphous alloys, also known as metallic glasses, are solid metallic materials having long-range disordered atomic structures. Compared to crystalline alloys, amorphous alloys not only have metallic characters, but also possess several distinct properties associated to the amorphous structure, such as isotropy, composition flexibility, unsaturated surface, etc. As a result, amorphous alloys offer a class of highly promising materials for catalyzing electrochemical reactions. In this minireview, the preparation, characterization and electrocatalytic performances of a variety of metallic amorphous alloy materials are summarized. The influences of the amorphous alloy structure on different electrochemical reactions are discussed. Finally, a summary on the advantages and challenges of amorphous alloys in electrocatalysis is provided, along with some perspectives about the future research directions.

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Amorphous alloys for electrocatalysis: The significant role of the amorphous alloy structure

Show Author's information Xingyun Li1,2,§Weizheng Cai1,§Dong-Sheng Li3Jun Xu4Huabing Tao5( )Bin Liu1,6( )
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore
Department of Biomaterials, College of Materials, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Key Laboratory of Inorganic Nonmetallic Crystalline and Energy Conversion Materials, College of Materials and Chemical Engineering, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China
Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory for Soft Functional Materials, Department of Physics, Research Institute for Biomimetics and Soft Matter, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Division of Chemical and Biological Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 21 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637371, Singapore

§ Xingyun Li and Weizheng Cai contributed equally to this work.


Amorphous alloys, also known as metallic glasses, are solid metallic materials having long-range disordered atomic structures. Compared to crystalline alloys, amorphous alloys not only have metallic characters, but also possess several distinct properties associated to the amorphous structure, such as isotropy, composition flexibility, unsaturated surface, etc. As a result, amorphous alloys offer a class of highly promising materials for catalyzing electrochemical reactions. In this minireview, the preparation, characterization and electrocatalytic performances of a variety of metallic amorphous alloy materials are summarized. The influences of the amorphous alloy structure on different electrochemical reactions are discussed. Finally, a summary on the advantages and challenges of amorphous alloys in electrocatalysis is provided, along with some perspectives about the future research directions.

Keywords: electrocatalysis, amorphous alloys, nonperiodic atomic structure, isotropy, metastability



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Publication history

Publication history

Received: 09 April 2021
Revised: 30 May 2021
Accepted: 16 June 2021
Published: 13 July 2021
Issue date: April 2023


© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of Singapore under Tier 1 RG115/18 and RG4/20, and Tier 2 T2EP10120-0009.