Advanced opportunities and insights on the influence of nitrogen incorporation on the physico-/electro-chemical properties of robust electrocatalysts for electrocatalytic energy conversion

Sundaram Chandrasekaran, Chenle Zhang, Yiqing Shu, Huide Wang, Sanming Chen, Thomas Nesakumar Jebakumar Immanuel Edison, Yongping Liu, Namachivayam Karthik, R. D.K. Misra, Libo Deng, Peng Yin, Yanqi Ge, Omar A. Al-Hartomy, Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, Swelm Wageh, Peixin Zhang, Chris Bowen, Zhang Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The use of a wide range of methods for incorporating nitrogen atoms on robust catalysts has given rise to fundamental advances in the field of energy conversion and storage. Recently, nitrogen incorporation has proven to be able to fine-tune the electron densities of exposed active sites to create high-performance electrocatalysts. The preservation of a strong interface between the local atomic coordination of nitrogen atoms on bare carbon, single metal atoms, transition metal oxides, metal chalcogenides, and MXenes during synthesis plays an important role in producing an efficient electrocatalysts. In addition, the ability of nitrogen atoms to bind with carbon or metal atoms can be influenced by processing conditions. In this regard, this review is the first comprehensive overview of the range of synthetic strategies to form nitrogen incorporated catalysts and assess their chemical, structural, physical electronic property modification and their influence on electrocatalytic ORR, OER, and HER performance. This review will describe how specific strategies have been utilized to realise effective electrocatalytic systems, including the energy conversion of nitrogen incorporated catalysts, structural coordination, and material optimization. Finally, the main challenges to be considered in future investigations in order to initiate new research efforts in this promising research area are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214209
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Early online date16 Sep 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Sep 2021


  • N-doped carbon
  • N-doped metal chalcogenides
  • N-doped metal oxides
  • N-doped MXenes
  • Nitrogen
  • ORR, OER, and HER
  • Single-atom sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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