Highly active and stable stepped Cu surface for enhanced electrochemical CO2 reduction to C2H4
Chungseok Choi, Soonho Kwon, Tao Cheng, Mingjie Xu, Peter Tieu, Changsoo Lee, Jin Cai, Hyuck Mo Lee, Xiaoqing Pan, Xiangfeng Duan, William A Goddard, Yu Huang
Nat. Catal. (2020)
Electrochemical CO 2 reduction to value-added chemical feedstocks is of considerable interest for renewable energy storage and renewable source generation while mitigating CO 2 emissions from human activity. Copper represents an effective catalyst in reducing CO 2 to hydrocarbons or oxygenates, but it is often plagued by a low product selectivity and limited long-term stability. Here we report that copper nanowires with rich surface steps exhibit a remarkably high Faradaic efficiency for C 2 H 4 that can be maintained for over 200 hours. Computational studies reveal that these steps are thermodynamically favoured compared with Cu (100) surface under the operating conditions and the stepped surface favours C 2 products by suppressing the C 1 pathway and hydrogen production.