There has been a recent surge of interest in multicomponent catalysts that combine properties of chemically diverse materials. A major factor in this increased interest is the widespread recognition that the scaling relationships for adsorption and transition state energies of reactions place significant constraints on making step-change improvements in catalyst performance using monofunctional catalysts. In this perspective, we review the fundamental rationale for multicomponent materials and describe several classes of materials that offer promise for improving activity and selectivity in catalysis. Our focus is on illustrating how recent advances in the ability to prepare precisely controlled multicomponent nanostructures have the potential to enhance the capability to design highly active and selective catalysts.
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