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Advanced functional materials: where can carbon live like this, because it has intrinsic defects

carbon based nanomaterials are considered as an ideal substitute for Pt other noble metal catalysts have been widely used in electrochemical reactions. Due to the easy regulation of its structure composition the density of active sites of carbon based framework can be increased by various means the adsorption activation process of key intermediates can be optimized so as to significantly reduce the overpotential of electrocatalytic reaction. In recent years defect engineering has become an important strategy to improve the performance of carbon based electrocatalysts. The defects of carbon materials mainly include intrinsic defects non intrinsic defects. The extrinsic defects originate from the doping of heteroatoms while the intrinsic defects refer to the defect species existing in the pure carbon network mainly including edge vacancy hole topological structure defects. Due to the inherent defects in the carbon based framework which can effectively induce the rearrangement of local charge density of carbon based the inactive carbon atoms can be converted into highly active centers to participate in the reaction directly so the contribution of its electrocatalytic activity can not be ignored.

Professor Mu Shichun's team of Wuhan University of science technology based on the recent related research work existing literature reports systematically reviewed the latest progress in the application of intrinsic carbon defect electrocatalysis. Firstly they briefly summarized the meaning of defect engineering of nano catalysts including the directional construction of defects the characterization of defect geometry concentration the activity evaluation of defect based catalysts the electronic structure catalytic mechanism of defect sites the stardized preparation of defect based catalysts. From the point of view of the intrinsic defect of carbon rich catalyst the mechanism of the intrinsic defect of carbon rich catalyst was analyzed in detail. Then they introduced the synergistic effect of intrinsic carbon defects heteroatom defects on the electronic structure of carbon sites the trapping effect of intrinsic carbon defects on highly active metal atoms. In addition the current methods used to characterize the physical properties of intrinsic defect sites are summarized including the visualization observation technology of their geometric configuration the spectroscopy characterization technology of their defect concentration information surface electronic states so as to provide technical guidance for the research of defect catalysis. Finally the structure-activity relationships of active sites with intrinsic carbon defects are briefly reviewed the future development of defect electrocatalysis is prospected.

this review discusses the research progress of intrinsic carbon defects as electrocatalytic active centers from the perspective of defect engineering systematically explains their construction strategies characterization methods structure-activity relationship catalytic mechanism so as to provide necessary theoretical basis technical guidance for the future research application of defect based electrocatalysts.

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