Operando time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy reveals the chemical nature enabling highly selective CO2 reduction
SC Lin and CC Chang and SY Chiu and HT Pai and TY Liao and CS Hsu and WH Chiang and MK Tsai and HM Chen, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 11 (2020).
Copper electrocatalysts have been shown to selectively reduce carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons. Nevertheless, the absence of a systematic study based on time-resolved spectroscopy renders the functional agent-either metallic or oxidative Copper-for the selectivity still undecidable. Herein, we develop an operando seconds-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy to uncover the chemical state evolution of working catalysts. An oxide-derived Copper electrocatalyst is employed as a model catalyst to offer scientific insights into the roles metal states serve in carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR). Using a potential switching approach, the model catalyst can achieve a steady chemical state of half-Cu(0)-and-half-Cu(I) and selectively produce asymmetric C-2 products - C2H5OH. Furthermore, a theoretical analysis reveals that a surface composed of Cu-Cu(I) ensembles can have dual carbon monoxide molecules coupled asymmetrically, which potentially enhances the catalyst's CO2RR product selectivity toward C-2 products. Our results offer understandings of the fundamental chemical states and insights to the establishment of selective CO2RR. A systematic time-resolved study can provide key insights on selective carbon dioxide electro-reduction. Here, the authors report operando seconds-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy to uncover the chemical state evolution of working catalysts in a carbon dioxide electroreduction process.
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