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Electrocatalysis is becoming more and more important in energy conversion and storage due to rising energy demands, increasing carbon dioxide emissions, and impending climate change. The design and synthesis of high-performance electrocatalysts are the spotlights of electrocatalysis. Among many design methodologies reported, strain engineering has gained growing attention because it can change the atomic arrangement and lattice structure of electrocatalysts. However, strain engineering remains to be problematic in regulating the properties of electrocatalysts. This review discusses the strain effect tactics to regulate metal and non-metal electrocatalysts, including three sections focusing on strain categorization, strain regulation mechanism, and applications in electrocatalysis, respectively. Finally, the current challenges and an outlook of strain engineering are discussed.

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Opportunities and challenges of strain engineering for advanced electrocatalyst design

Show Author's information Qing-Man Liang,§Xinchang Wang,§Xin-Wang Wan,§Long-Xing LinBi-Jun GengZhong-Qun TianYang Yang( )
Department of Physics, Pen-Tung Sah Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

§ Qing-Man Liang, Xinchang Wang, and Xin-Wang Wan contributed equally to this work.


Electrocatalysis is becoming more and more important in energy conversion and storage due to rising energy demands, increasing carbon dioxide emissions, and impending climate change. The design and synthesis of high-performance electrocatalysts are the spotlights of electrocatalysis. Among many design methodologies reported, strain engineering has gained growing attention because it can change the atomic arrangement and lattice structure of electrocatalysts. However, strain engineering remains to be problematic in regulating the properties of electrocatalysts. This review discusses the strain effect tactics to regulate metal and non-metal electrocatalysts, including three sections focusing on strain categorization, strain regulation mechanism, and applications in electrocatalysis, respectively. Finally, the current challenges and an outlook of strain engineering are discussed.

Keywords: electrocatalysis, strain engineering, electrocatalyst design, categorization and mechanism, applications in electrocatalysis



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Publication history

Publication history

Received: 12 January 2023
Revised: 25 February 2023
Accepted: 05 March 2023
Published: 25 May 2023
Issue date: July 2023


© Tsinghua University Press 2023



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. T2222002, 21973079, 22032004, and 21991130) and the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (No. 2021J06008).