FeC6N monolayer with ideal properties for water splitting

Huan Lou, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Guochun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Electrocatalytic water splitting is an environmentally friendly way to prepare hydrogen as alternative energy source to replace fossil fuels. Therefore, the development of high-performance and low-cost catalysts is an urgent need. In the present work, we design two-dimensional catalysts based on earth-abundant elements. Particularly, the FeC6N monolayer with planar 6-coordinated Fe and planar 3-coordinated N shows high structural stability and inherent metallicity. Interestingly, both the Fe and N atoms are catalytically active for hydrogen evolution, resulting in a combined activity comparable to that of Pt. It turns out that this remarkable performance is associated with the 6-coordination of Fe and delocalization of the N lone pair electrons. Overall, the FeC6N monolayer emerges as an ideal catalyst for water splitting.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157203
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - Apr 17 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-03
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge funding support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (21873017 and 21573037), the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (2013 M541283), the Natural Science Foundation of Jilin Province (20190201231JC), and the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (B2021203030). The work was carried out at National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, using TianHe-1 (A). The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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