Nanostructured Metal Chalcogenides for Energy Storage and Electrocatalysis
Energy storage and conversion technologies are vital to the efficient utilization of sustainable renewable energy sources. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and the emerging sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are considered as two of the most promising energy storage devices, and electrocatalysis processes play critical roles in energy conversion techniques that achieve mutual transformation between renewable electricity and chemical energies. It has been demonstrated that nanostructured metal chalcogenides including metal sulfides and metal selenides show great potential for efficient energy storage and conversion due to their unique physicochemical properties. In this feature article, the recent research progress on nanostructured metal sulfides and metal selenides for application in SIBs/LIBs and hydrogen/oxygen electrocatalysis (hydrogen evolution reaction, oxygen evolution reaction, and oxygen reduction reaction) is summarized and discussed. The corresponding electrochemical mechanisms, critical issues, and effective strategies towards performance improvement are presented. Finally, the remaining challenges and perspectives for the future development of metal chalcogenides in the energy research field are proposed.