Boosting Tunable Syngas Formation via Electrochemical CO 2 Reduction on Cu/In 2 O 3 Core/Shell Nanoparticles

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Oct 31;10(43):36996-37004. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b12747. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Abstract

In this work, monodisperse core/shell Cu/In2O3 nanoparticles (NPs) were developed to boost efficient and tunable syngas formation via electrochemical CO2 reduction for the first time. The efficiency and composition of syngas production on the developed carbon-supported Cu/In2O3 catalysts are highly dependent on the In2O3 shell thickness (0.4-1.5 nm). As a result, a wide H2/CO ratio (4/1 to 0.4/1) was achieved on the Cu/In2O3 catalysts by controlling the shell thickness and the applied potential (from -0.4 to -0.9 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode), with Faraday efficiency of syngas formation larger than 90%. Specifically, the best-performing Cu/In2O3 catalyst demonstrates remarkably large current densities under low overpotentials (4.6 and 12.7 mA/cm2 at -0.6 and -0.9 V, respectively), which are competitive with most of the reported systems for syngas formation. Mechanistic discussion implicates that the synergistic effect between lattice compression and Cu doping in the In2O3 shell may enhance the binding of *COOH on the Cu/In2O3 NP surface, leading to the enhanced CO generation relative to Cu and In2O3 catalysts. This report demonstrates a new strategy to realize efficient and tunable syngas formation via rationally designed core/shell catalyst configuration.

Keywords: CO2 reduction; copper; electrocatalysis; indium oxide; syngas.