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Nat Nanotechnol. 2016 Mar;11(3):218-30. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2015.340.

Catalysis with two-dimensional materials and their heterostructures.

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State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, iChEM, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023, China.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL Manchester, UK.
State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, iChEM, Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.


Graphene and other 2D atomic crystals are of considerable interest in catalysis because of their unique structural and electronic properties. Over the past decade, the materials have been used in a variety of reactions, including the oxygen reduction reaction, water splitting and CO2 activation, and have been shown to exhibit a range of catalytic mechanisms. Here, we review recent advances in the use of graphene and other 2D materials in catalytic applications, focusing in particular on the catalytic activity of heterogeneous systems such as van der Waals heterostructures (stacks of several 2D crystals). We discuss the advantages of these materials for catalysis and the different routes available to tune their electronic states and active sites. We also explore the future opportunities of these catalytic materials and the challenges they face in terms of both fundamental understanding and the development of industrial applications.


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