Electrochemistry under confinement

Jaugstetter, M. and Blanc, N. and Kratz, M. and Tschulik, K.

Volume: 51 Pages: 2491-2543
DOI: 10.1039/d1cs00789k
Published: 2022

Although the term ‘confinement’ regularly appears in electrochemical literature, elevated by continuous progression in the research of nanomaterials and nanostructures, up until today the various aspects of confinement considered in electrochemistry are rather scattered individual contributions outside the established disciplines in this field. Thanks to a number of highly original publications and the growing appreciation of confinement as an overarching link between different exciting new research strategies, ‘electrochemistry under confinement’ is the process of forming a research discipline of its own. To aid the development a coherent terminology and joint basic concepts, as crucial factors for this transformation, this review provides an overview on the different effects on electrochemical processes known to date that can be caused by confinement. It also suggests where boundaries to other effects, such as nano-effects could be drawn. To conceptualize the vast amount of research activities revolving around the main concepts of confinement, we define six types of confinement and select two of them to discuss the state of the art and anticipated future developments in more detail. The first type concerns nanochannel environments and their applications for electrodeposition and for electrochemical sensing. The second type covers the rather newly emerging field of colloidal single entity confinement in electrochemistry. In these contexts, we will for instance address the influence of confinement on the mass transport and electric field distributions and will link the associated changes in local species concentration or in the local driving force to altered reaction kinetics and product selectivity. Highlighting pioneering works and exciting recent developments, this educational review does not only aim at surveying and categorizing the state-of-the-art, but seeks to specifically point out future perspectives in the field of confinement-controlled electrochemistry. © 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry

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