General synthesis of single-atom catalysts with high metal loading using graphene quantum dots

Chuan Xia, Yunrui Qiu, Yang Xia, Peng Zhu, Graham King, Xiao Zhang, Zhenyu Wu, Jung Yoon Kim, David A. Cullen, Dongxing Zheng, Peng Li, Mohsen Shakouri, Emilio Heredia, Peixin Cui, Husam N. Alshareef, Yongfeng Hu, Haotian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transition-metal single-atom catalysts present extraordinary activity per metal atomic site, but suffer from low metal-atom densities (typically less than 5 wt% or 1 at.%), which limits their overall catalytic performance. Here we report a general method for the synthesis of single-atom catalysts with high transition-metal-atom loadings of up to 40 wt% or 3.8 at.%, representing several-fold improvements compared to benchmarks in the literature. Graphene quantum dots, later interweaved into a carbon matrix, were used as a support, providing numerous anchoring sites and thus facilitating the generation of high densities of transition-metal atoms with sufficient spacing between the metal atoms to avoid aggregation. A significant increase in activity in electrochemical CO2 reduction (used as a representative reaction) was demonstrated on a Ni single-atom catalyst with increased Ni loading.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Chemistry
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 24 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)

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