Nanoporous Copper-Silver Alloys by Additive-Controlled Electrodeposition for the Selective Electroreduction of CO 2 to Ethylene and Ethanol

J Am Chem Soc. 2018 May 2;140(17):5791-5797. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b01868. Epub 2018 Apr 17.


Electrodeposition of CuAg alloy films from plating baths containing 3,5-diamino-1,2,4-triazole (DAT) as an inhibitor yields high surface area catalysts for the active and selective electroreduction of CO2 to multicarbon hydrocarbons and oxygenates. EXAFS shows the co-deposited alloy film to be homogeneously mixed. The alloy film containing 6% Ag exhibits the best CO2 electroreduction performance, with the Faradaic efficiency for C2H4 and C2H5OH production reaching nearly 60 and 25%, respectively, at a cathode potential of just -0.7 V vs RHE and a total current density of ∼ - 300 mA/cm2. Such high levels of selectivity at high activity and low applied potential are the highest reported to date. In situ Raman and electroanalysis studies suggest the origin of the high selectivity toward C2 products to be a combined effect of the enhanced stabilization of the Cu2O overlayer and the optimal availability of the CO intermediate due to the Ag incorporated in the alloy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.