"Self-Selective Catalyst Synthesis for CO2 Reduction"

Hongxia Wang: Zheng Liang, Michael Tang, Guangxu Chen, Yanbin Li, Wei Chen, Dingchang Lin, Zewen Zhang, Guangmin Zhou, Jun Li, Zhiyi Lu, Karen Chan, Tianwei Tan, Yi Cui; Joule, 06/18/19.

Additional Authors: Zheng Liang, Michael Tang, Guangxu Chen, Yanbin Li, Wei Chen, Dingchang Lin, Zewen Zhang, Guangmin Zhou, Jun Li, Zhiyi Lu, Karen Chan, Tianwei Tan, Yi Cui

Abstract:

Catalysts play a significant role in many chemical processes to accelerate the reactions. However, the screening of a specific catalyst for one particular reaction usually requires elaborate procedures. Herein, we propose a novel concept of self-selective catalyst (SELF-CAT) to rapidly identify the proper catalyst for a certain chemical reaction by having the target reaction itself select its own catalyst. Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) is used as an example to demonstrate this method. Gaseous CO2 is introduced and provides a surface-controlling agent to self-select and direct the crystal growth during the electrodeposition process, which is demonstrated by lead and copper. These resulting metal crystals thus possess a unique arrangement of crystal facets, which selectively binds the CO2 reduction intermediates, exhibiting superior electrochemical catalytic performances. The preferential exposure of facets in the presence of CO2 is furthermore suggested by density functional theory analysis.