Unravelling in-situ formation of highly active mixed metal oxide CuInO2 nanoparticles during CO2 electroreduction

Authors: Roghayeh Imani, Zhen Qiu, Reza Younesi, Meysam Pazoki, Daniel L.A. Fernandes, Pavlin D. Mitev, Tomas Edvinsson, Haining Tian

Technologies and catalysts for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to immobile products are of high interest to minimize greenhouse effects. Copper(I) is a promising catalytic active state of copper but hampered by the inherent instability in comparison to copper(II) or copper(0). Here, we report a stabilization of the catalytic active state of copper(I) by the formation of a mixed metal oxide CuInO2 nanoparticle during the CO2electroreduction. Our result shows the incorporation of nanoporous Sn:In2O3 interlayer to Cu2O pre-catalyst system lead to the formation of CuInO2 nanoparticles with remarkably higher activity for CO2 electroreduction at lower overpotential in comparison to the conventional Cu nanoparticles derived from sole Cu2O. Operando Raman spectroelectrochemistry is employed to in-situ monitor the process of nanoparticles formation during the electrocatalytic process. The experimental data are collaborated with DFT calculations to provide insight into the electro-formation of the type of Cu-based mixed metal oxide catalyst during the CO2 electroreduction, where a formation mechanism via copper ion diffusion across the substrate is suggested.

Nano Energy, Volume 49, July 2018, Pages 40-50
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.04.013

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