Nano Research

Article Title

Aqueous electrocatalytic N2 reduction under ambient conditions


N2 reduction; electrocatalyst; aqueous electrolyte; faradaic efficiency


ABSTRACT Recently, the electrochemical N2 reduction reaction (NRR) in aqueous electrolytes at ambient temperature and pressure has demonstrated its unique advantages and potentials. The reactants are directly derived from gaseous N2 and water, which are naturally abundant, and NH3 production is important for fertilizers and other industrial applications. To improve the conversion yield and selectivity (mainly competing with water reduction), electrocatalysts must be rationally designed to optimize the mass transport, chemisorption, and transduction pathways of protons and electrons. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the electrochemical NRR. Studies of electrocatalyst designs are summarized for different categories, including metal-based catalysts, metal oxide-derived catalysts, and hybrid catalysts. Strategies for enhancing the NRR performance based on the facet orientation, metal oxide interface, crystallinity, and nitrogen vacancies are presented. Additional system designs, such as lithium-nitrogen batteries, and the solvent effect are introduced. Finally, existing challenges and prospects are discussed.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press