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Efficient photocatalysis and electrocatalysis in energy conversion have been important strategies to alleviate energy crises and environmental issues. In recent years, with the rapid development of emerging catalysts, significant progress has been made in photocatalysis for converting solar energy into chemical energy and electrocatalysis for converting electrical energy into chemical energy. However, their selectivity and efficiency of the products are poor. Rare earth (RE) can achieve atomic level fine regulation of catalysts and play an crucial role in optimizing catalyst performance by their unique electronic and orbital structures. However, there is a lack of systematic review on the atomic interface regulation mechanism of RE and their role in energy conversion processes. Single atom catalysts (SACs) provide clear active sites and 100% atomic utilization, which is conducive to exploring the regulatory mechanisms of RE. Therefore, this review mainly takes atomic level doped RE as an example to review and discuss the atomic interface regulation role of RE elements in energy conversion. Firstly, a brief introduction was given to the synthesis strategies that can effectively exert the atomic interface regulation effect of RE, with a focus on the atomic interface regulation mechanism of RE. Meanwhile, the regulatory mechanisms of RE atoms have been systematically summarized in various energy conversion applications. Finally, the challenges faced by RE in energy conversion, as well as future research directions and prospects, were pointed out.

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Atomic interface regulation of rare-marth metal single atom catalysts for energy conversion

Show Author's information Ziheng ZhanZhiyi SunZihao WeiYaqiong LiWenxing Chen( )Shenghua Li( )Siping Pang( )
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China


Efficient photocatalysis and electrocatalysis in energy conversion have been important strategies to alleviate energy crises and environmental issues. In recent years, with the rapid development of emerging catalysts, significant progress has been made in photocatalysis for converting solar energy into chemical energy and electrocatalysis for converting electrical energy into chemical energy. However, their selectivity and efficiency of the products are poor. Rare earth (RE) can achieve atomic level fine regulation of catalysts and play an crucial role in optimizing catalyst performance by their unique electronic and orbital structures. However, there is a lack of systematic review on the atomic interface regulation mechanism of RE and their role in energy conversion processes. Single atom catalysts (SACs) provide clear active sites and 100% atomic utilization, which is conducive to exploring the regulatory mechanisms of RE. Therefore, this review mainly takes atomic level doped RE as an example to review and discuss the atomic interface regulation role of RE elements in energy conversion. Firstly, a brief introduction was given to the synthesis strategies that can effectively exert the atomic interface regulation effect of RE, with a focus on the atomic interface regulation mechanism of RE. Meanwhile, the regulatory mechanisms of RE atoms have been systematically summarized in various energy conversion applications. Finally, the challenges faced by RE in energy conversion, as well as future research directions and prospects, were pointed out.

Keywords: single-atom catalyst, energy conversion, rare earth elements, interface regulation effect



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Publication history

Publication history

Received: 28 September 2023
Revised: 16 October 2023
Accepted: 22 October 2023
Published: 02 December 2023
Issue date: May 2024


© Tsinghua University Press 2023



The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21875021 and 22075024) and the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 2212018). All authors have given approval to the final version of the manuscript.