Dopants in the Design of Noble Metal Nanoparticle Electrocatalysts and their Effect on Surface Energy and Coordination Chemistry at the Nanocrystal Surface

Taehyun Kwon, Taekyung Kim, Yunchang Son, Kwangyeol Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Commercialization of energy conversion technologies, such as water electrolysis or fuel cells, has become a common prioritized goal in academia and industry due to the accelerated environmental crisis caused by the rapid increase in demand for fossil fuel-based energy resources. However, these state-of-the-art technologies require the use of expensive noble metal-based electrocatalysts, which significantly undermine the feasibility of their commercial success. The introduction of less expensive elements into the noble metal-based electrocatalysts, namely, doping, has become common in nanocatalysis research because of the lower catalyst preparation costs. Interestingly, recent studies have revealed additional roles of dopants in noble metal catalysts; doping can enhance the catalytic activity and selectivity by modulating the band structure, optimizing the surface energy of the catalysts, controlling the binding strength of adsorbates, and thus affecting the reaction kinetics. Dopants can also intervene in the nanocrystal growth mechanism, leading to shape- and phase-controlled nanocrystals. This review discusses the great versatility of dopants in nanoparticle-based catalysis in all aspects, from nanocrystal growth to nanocatalyst performance. The future challenges and outlook for dopants in nanocrystals and their applications are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100265
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
T.K. and T.K. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, Grant No. NRF‐2019R1A6A1A11044070, NRF‐2020R1A2B5B03002475, and NRF‐2019M3E6A1064709. This work was also supported by Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea government (MOTIE), Grant No. 20203020030010. T. Kim acknowledges NRF of Korea, Grant No. NRF‐2020R1A6A3A01096557 and Korea University Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • doping
  • electrocatalysts
  • fuel cells
  • noble metal alloys
  • water electrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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