Next-generation energy technologies have attracted increasing research interest because of their fascinating advantages, but implementing such technologies requires efficient and robust electrocatalysts to overcome the sluggish cardiac reaction kinetics. Sputtered nanostructures made by simple, versatile, and green sputtering techniques have superior electrochemical performance due to their rich structural motifs and morphological features, and show great potential for increasing reaction kinetics. After a brief discussion of the basic principles of magnetron sputtering technology, attention is turned to the discussion of the applications of sputtered nanostructures in various types of clean energy conversion reactions, architecture / composition design, controllable and green synthesis, reaction mechanism, and electrochemical performances. In addition, critical insights into the density of active centers, synergistic modulation, surface reconstruction and heterostructure design are discussed. Finally, we look to the future in terms of how these discussions and insights open up opportunities for sputtered nanostructures (as electrode materials) to facilitate the development of next generation energy technologies.

Graphic summary: Magnetron sputtering enabled sustainable synthesis of nanomaterials for energy electrocatalysis

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