Single-atom catalysts (SACs) have the unique coordination environment and electronic structure due to the quantum size effect, which plays an essential role in facilitating catalytic reactions. However, due to the limited understanding of the formation mechanism of single atoms, achieving the modulation of the local atomic structure of SACs is still difficult and challenging. Herein, we have prepared a series of Ni SACs loaded on nitrogen-doped carbon substrates with different parameters using a dissolution-and-carbonization method to systematically investigate the effect of temperature on the structure of the SACs. The results of characterization and electrochemical measurements are analyzed to reveal the uniform law between temperature and the metal loading, bond length, coordination number, valence state and CO2 reduction performance, showing the feasibility of controlling the structure of SACs through temperature to regulate the catalytic performance. This is important for the understanding of catalytic reaction mechanisms and the design of efficient catalysts.
Keywords: coordination environment; electrocatalytic CO2 reduction; electronic structure; single-atom catalysts; supported catalysts; temperature.
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