Atomic nickel cluster decorated defect-rich copper for enhanced C2 product selectivity in electrocatalytic CO2 reduction

Publication Name

Applied Catalysis B: Environmental


This work describes a coordination enabled galvanic replacement method to decorate atomic Ni clusters on defect-rich Cu surface to provide the first Ni/Cu bimetallic system that significantly enhances the production of C products from electrocatalytic CO reduction. Specifically, with a surface Ni/Cu ratio of 0.82 %, a 7-fold increase in the selectivity for C products was found in comparison with pristine Cu. Density functional theory calculations reveal that the rate determining step for *CO formation changes from the formation of *COOH on copper to the chemisorption of CO on Ni decorated surfaces. An alteration of binding sites from Ni-Ni bridge for *CO and *COOH to Ni-Cu bridge for *CO is discovered and is proposed to favor the key C–C coupling step. The catalytic mechanism demonstrated in the Cu-Ni system points to the new directions for the development of advanced bimetallic electrocatalysts for producing multi-carbon materials from CO reduction. 2 2 2 2 2 2

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



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