3D printing for electrocatalytic applications
Research interest in the use of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, for electrochemically related applications continues to grow, particularly for the sustainable electrocatalytic conversion of small molecules in the production of chemical feedstocks and renewable fuels. The flexibility in complex and custom design that additive fabrication offers is potentially revolutionary. Numerous rapid prototyping materials and devices have been developed in recent years, making it timely to scrutinize the gaps between lab-based systems and ideal, industrially relevant electrocatalytic materials and devices. In this perspective, we define the scope of benefit of 3D printing, its potential, limitations, and current trends of development for electrocatalytic applications. We analyze future prospective electrodes in terms of size, printing resolution, and cost. We examine the strategies employed in post-processing of 3D-printed electrodes and in the fabrication of electrocatalytically based prototyping devices. We also offer our perspective on how rapid prototyping technology may shape the future development of electrocatalytic interfaces and the electrocatalysis field in general.