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Catalysts can accelerate the chemical reaction rate and effectively promote the molecules transformation, which is of great significance in the research of chemical industry and material science. The extreme utilization of reactive sites has led to the emergence and development of atomically dispersed materials (ADMs). The highly active coordination unsaturated metal sites and fully utilized metal atoms make ADMs show great potential in catalytic reactions. The adjustment of coordination environment and electronic structure provides more possibilities for constructing reactive centers with different properties. This review summarized the application and research progress of ADMs in different fields. The design strategy and structure–activity relationship of ADMs for specific reactions were summarized and analyzed. Moreover, we also provided advices for the challenges and opportunities faced by ADMs in catalytic reactions.

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Atomically dispersed materials: Ideal catalysts in atomic era

Show Author's information Tao GanDingsheng Wang( )
Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China


Catalysts can accelerate the chemical reaction rate and effectively promote the molecules transformation, which is of great significance in the research of chemical industry and material science. The extreme utilization of reactive sites has led to the emergence and development of atomically dispersed materials (ADMs). The highly active coordination unsaturated metal sites and fully utilized metal atoms make ADMs show great potential in catalytic reactions. The adjustment of coordination environment and electronic structure provides more possibilities for constructing reactive centers with different properties. This review summarized the application and research progress of ADMs in different fields. The design strategy and structure–activity relationship of ADMs for specific reactions were summarized and analyzed. Moreover, we also provided advices for the challenges and opportunities faced by ADMs in catalytic reactions.

Keywords: atomically dispersed materials, catalysis, organic synthesis, battery, sensor, enzyme



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Publication history

Publication history

Received: 09 March 2023
Revised: 22 March 2023
Accepted: 29 March 2023
Published: 25 May 2023


© Tsinghua University Press 2023



This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2018YFA0702003), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21890383 and 21871159), the Science and Technology Key Project of Guangdong Province of China (No. 2020B010188002), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2022M721796).