“Hot Edges” in Inverse Opal Structure Enable Efficient CO2 Electrochemical Reduction and Sensitive in-situ Raman Characterization

Yang Yang, Lukas Ohnoutek, Saira Ajmal, Xiuzhen Zheng, Yiqing Feng, Kejian Li, Tao Wang, Yue Deng, Yangyang Liu, Xu Dong, Ventsislav Valev, Liwu Zhang

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Conversion of CO 2 into fuels and chemicals via electroreduction has attracted significant interest. Via mesostructure design to tune the electric field distribution in the electrode, it is demonstrated that the Cu-In alloy with an inverse opal (CI-1-IO) structure provides efficient electrochemical CO 2 reduction and allows for sensitive detection of the CO 2 reduction intermediates via surface-enhanced Raman scattering. The significant enhancement of Raman signals of the intermediates on the CI-1-IO surface can be attributed to electric field enhancement on the "hot edges" of the inverse opal structure. Additionally, a highest CO 2 reduction faradaic efficiency (FE) of 92% (sum of formate and CO) is achieved at-0.6 V vs. RHE on the CI-1-IO electrode. The diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) results show that the Cu-In alloy with an inverse opal structure has faster adsorption kinetics and higher adsorption capacity for CO 2. The "hot edges" of the bowl-like structure concentrate electric fields, due to the high curvature, and also concentrate K + on the active sites, which can lower the energy barrier of the CO 2 reduction reaction. This research provides new insight into the design of materials for efficient CO 2 conversion and the detection of intermediates during the CO 2 reduction process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11836-11846
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number19
Early online date9 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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