Hexagonal Boron Nitride as a Multifunctional Support for Engineering Efficient Electrocatalysts toward the Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Developing heterostructures with well-defined interfaces is attracting ever-increasing interest toward the development of advanced electrocatalysts. Herein, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets are reported as a multifunctional support for constructing efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). h-BN/Pd heterostructured electrocatalysts with decent activity and long-term durability are designed and synthesized by confining Pd nanoparticles (NPs) on ultrathin h-BN nanosheets. The robust h-BN serves as a durable platform to maintain the structural integrity of the heterostructured catalysts. Both experimental findings and theoretical calculations reveal that the strong interaction between h-BN and Pd downshifts the Pd d-band center and hence optimizes the affinity with the reaction intermediates. Meanwhile, h-BN also endows the heterostructured catalysts with superhydrophobic surfaces, promoting the diffusion kinetics of O2. These findings open a new avenue for the rational design and development of heterostructured catalysts by interface engineering toward electrocatalysis applications.
Chen, Y., Cai, J., Li, P., Zhao, G., Wang, G., Jiang, Y., Chen, J., Dou, S., Pan, H. & Sun, W. (2020). Hexagonal Boron Nitride as a Multifunctional Support for Engineering Efficient Electrocatalysts toward the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Nano Letters, 20 (9), 6807-6814.