Electrochemical reduction and evolution of oxygen are two critical reactions that almost determine the performance and efficiency of clean-energy devices due to their sluggish reaction kinetics and large overpotential. Apart from the oxygen reduction/evolution reaction (ORR/OER), the importance of the hydrogen evolution/oxidation reaction (HER/HOR) cannot be ignored either, as hydrogen can work as a powerful fuel with water as the only product.
The core of accelerating the interfacial electrochemical reaction is the exploration of efficient and robust electrochemical catalysts, which relies on an in-depth understanding of the reaction mechanism and intermediate process, especially at the molecular or even atomic level.
Recently, a research team reviewed the recent applications of in situ Raman spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in various energy-related reactions, including ORR, OER, HER/HOR, and CO2RR occurring on nano- and single-atom catalysts. Using these techniques, the oxygen-containing intermediate species were captured during oxygen and hydrogen oxidation reduction. The structural transformation of catalysts with the change of potentials was detected during oxygen evolution and the reduction of CO2.
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