American Chemical Society
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Steering the Reconstruction of Oxide-Derived Cu by Secondary Metal for Electrosynthesis of n‑Propanol from CO

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-10, 14:12 authored by Chang Long, Kaiwei Wan, Yu Chen, Lei Li, Yuheng Jiang, Caoyu Yang, Qianbao Wu, Guoling Wu, Peng Xu, Jiong Li, Xinghua Shi, Zhiyong Tang, Chunhua Cui
As fuel and an important chemical feedstock, n-propanol is highly desired in electrochemical CO2/CO reduction on Cu catalysts. However, the precise regulation of the Cu localized structure is still challenging and poorly understood, thus hindering the selective n-propanol electrosynthesis. Herein, by decorating Au nanoparticles (NPs) on CuO nanosheets (NSs), we present a counterintuitive transformation of CuO into undercoordinated Cu sites locally around Au NPs during CO reduction. In situ spectroscopic techniques reveal the Au-steered formation of abundant undercoordinated Cu sites during the removal of oxygen on CuO. First-principles accuracy molecular dynamic simulation demonstrates that the localized Cu atoms around Au tend to rearrange into disordered layer rather than a Cu (111) close-packed plane observed on bare CuO NSs. These Au-steered undercoordinated Cu sites facilitate CO binding, enabling selective electroreduction of CO into n-propanol with a high Faradaic efficiency of 48% in a flow cell. This work provides new insight into the regulation of the oxide-derived catalysts reconstruction with a secondary metal component.