Well-defined nanostructures for electrochemical energy conversion and storage

Electrochemical energy conversion and storage play crucial roles in meeting the increasing demand for renewable, portable, and affordable power supplies for society. The rapid development of nanostructured materials provides an alternative route by virtue of their unique and promising effects emerging at nanoscale. In addition to finding advanced materials, structure design and engineering of electrodes improves the electrochemical performance and the resultant commercial competitivity. Regarding the structural engineering, controlling the geometrical parameters (i.e., size, shape, hetero-architecture, and spatial arrangement) of nanostructures and thus forming well-defined nanostructure (WDN) electrodes have been the central aspects of investigations and practical applications. This review discusses the fundamental aspects and concept of WDNs for energy conversion and storage, with a strong emphasis on illuminating the relationship between the structural characteristics and the resultant electrochemical superiorities. Key strategies for actualizing well-defined features in nanostructures are summarized. Electrocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis (for energy conversion) as well as metal-ion batteries and supercapacitors (for energy storage) are selected to illustrate the superiorities of WDNs in electrochemical reactions and charge carrier transportation. Finally, conclusions and perspectives regarding future research, development, and applications of WDNs are discussed.


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