Single-Atom Catalytic Materials for Advanced Battery Systems

Chao LU, Ruyue FANG, Xi CHEN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

159 Citations (Scopus)


Advanced battery systems with high energy density have attracted enormous research enthusiasm with potential for portable electronics, electrical vehicles, and grid-scale systems. To enhance the performance of conversion-type batteries, various catalytic materials are developed, including metals and transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Metals are highly conductive with catalytic effects, but bulk structures with low surface area result in low atom utilization, and high chemical reactivity induces unfavorable dendrite effects. TMDs present chemical adsorption with active species and catalytic activity promotes conversion processes, suppressing shuttle effect and improving energy density. But they suffer from inferior conductivity compared with metal, and limited sites mainly concentrate on edges and defects. Single-atom materials with atomic sizes, good conductivity, and individual sites are promising candidates for advanced batteries because of a large atom utilization, unsaturated coordination, and unique electronic structure. Single-atom sites with high activity chemically trap intermediates to suppress shuttle effects and facilitate electron transfer and redox reactions for achieving high capacity, rate capability, and conversion efficiency. Herein, single-atom catalytic electrodes design for advanced battery systems is addressed. Major challenges and promising strategies concerning electrochemical reactions, theoretical model, and in situ characterization are discussed to shed light on future research of single-atom material-based energy systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1906548
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number16
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

C.L. and R.F. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the Earth Engineering Center and the Center for Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment at Columbia University.


  • advanced battery systems
  • fast conversion kinetics
  • highly active sites
  • next-generation energy materials
  • single-atom catalytic materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Single-Atom Catalytic Materials for Advanced Battery Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this