Atomically precise metal nanoclusters for electrochemical CO2RR
Sara GOBERNA a, Hermenegildo GARCIA a
a Instituto Universitario de Tecnologia Quimica (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Av. De los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.
Proceedings of International Conference on Frontiers in Electrocatalytic Transformations (INTERECT)
València, Spain, 2021 November 22nd - 23rd
Organizers: Elena Mas Marzá and Ward van der Stam
Poster, Sara GOBERNA, 009
Publication date: 10th November 2021

Gold-based materials hold promise in electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reactions (ECO2RR) to fuels.[1] However, the polydispersity of conventional gold nanostructures limits the fundamental understanding of structure-activity relationships, which remains the bottleneck for further catalyst development. This problem can be overcome using a novel class of catalysts that lie in the transition regime between small molecules and NPs: Atomically precise ligand-protected metal nanoclusters (MNCs). Contrary to NPs, MNCs are monodisperse particles with a defined composition that can be structurally characterized at the atomic level.[2] Thus far, apart from a few examples,[3, 4] most of the research on MNCs has made use of noble metals, which may not be very useful for practical applications due to their scarcity (and high cost). There is plenty of room, however, to explore more abundant metals, their alloys, and composite materials. In this context, Cu is of especial interest because of its capacity to reduce CO2 into hydrocarbon fuels.[5] Herein, in this communication, we report our preliminary results Cu doping effect on CO2 reduction by comparing Cu-doped CuxAu25-x and homogold Au25 nanoclusters (both protected by thiolates) that share an identical core structure. Our results highlight how atomically precise nanoclusters can be used as a platform to study composition and structure-dependent catalytic reactions and tailor the catalyst stability and performance.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 894270.

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