Graphene-Based Heterogeneous Catalysis: Role of Graphene
Graphene, the reincarnation of a surface, offers new opportunities in catalytic applications, not only because of its peculiar electronic structure, but also because of the ease of modulating it. A vast number of proposals have been made to support this point, but there has been a lack of a systematic understanding of the different roles of graphene, as many other reviews published have focused on the synthesis and characterization of the various graphene-based catalysts. In this review, we
... this review, we surveyed the vast literature related to various theoretical proposals and experimental realizations of graphene-based catalysts to first classify and then elucidate the different roles played by graphene in solid-state heterogeneous catalysis. Owing to its one-atom thickness and zero bandgap with low density of states around Fermi level, graphene has great potential in catalysis applications. In general, graphene can function as a support for catalysts, a cover to protect catalysts, or the catalytic center itself. Understanding these functions is important in the design of catalysts in terms of how to optimize the electronic structure of the active sites for particular applications, a few case studies of which will be presented for each role.