In situ growth of three-dimensional self-supporting CuOx “nanoforest” for efficient electrocatalytic CO2 reduction

On September 20, 2022, the Admiralty team of Nanjing University founded an academic journal at Tsinghua UniversityNano Research Energyon the publication titled“In-Situ Grown CuOx Nanowire Forest on Copper Foam: A 3D Hierarchical and Freestanding Electrocatalyst with Enhanced Carbonaceous Product Selectivity in CO2 Reduction”The latest research results.

The overexploitation of fossil fuels causes a large amount of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and it is of great strategic significance to achieve carbon neutrality and achieve efficient chemical conversion and utilization of CO2. In recent years, the use of electrocatalytic reactions to reduce CO2 to high-value carbon-containing compounds has attracted the attention of researchers. However, catalysts face low activity, selectivity and stability during CO2 electroreduction. Based on earlier research work, metal-based materials exhibit excellent catalytic performance in the conversion of CO2 electroreduction into high value-added carbon-containing compounds. Therefore, the development of highly active and selective electrocatalysts with high stability is the key issue to achieve long-term CO2 conversion and utilization.

In response to the above problems, Professor Jin Zhong’s research group of Nanjing University reported that dense CuOx “nanoforest” (CuOx-NWF@Cu-F) is grown in situ on three-dimensional porous copper foam, which can directly be used as an independent and binder-free working electrode for efficient electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reaction. The surface morphology and chemical composition of the “nanoforest” are adjusted by surface reconstruction to make it have a large electrochemically active surface area and abundant Cu(+1) active sites, so as to efficiently convert CO2 into high value-added carbon-containing compounds. The Faraday efficiency of the prepared highly conductive electrode in 0.1 M KHCO3 electrolyte can be increased to 15.0% at the voltage of -0.45 V vs. RHE, and the total Faraday efficiency of total carbon-containing compounds (FEC-total) can reach 69.4%, thereby effectively inhibiting the hydrogen evolution side reaction. In addition, the current density, morphology and composition of the catalyst did not change significantly during the 24-hour electroreduction reaction, showing good stability. As a highly active and stable electrode material, CuOx “nanoforest” provides a reference for the subsequent adjustment of the geometric effect and electronic structure of the catalyst to improve the electrocatalytic CO2 reduction performance.

Figure 1: Preparation process of CuOx “nanoforest” and performance diagram of electrocatalytic CO2 reduction.

Related Paper Information:

W. Zhang, M. Jiang, Z. Jin, et al. In-Situ Grown CuOx Nanowire Forest on Copper Foam: A 3D Hierarchical and Freestanding Electrocatalyst with Enhanced Carbonaceous Product Selectivity in CO2 Reduction. Nano Research Energy. 2022.

A sister journal to Nano Research, Nano Research Energy (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN: 2790-8119; Official Website: was launched in March 2022 and is co-edited by Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University and Professor Chunyi Zhi of City University of Hong Kong. Nano Research Energy is an international, multidisciplinary, all-English open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience and technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against international top energy journals, and is committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers. APC fees are waived before 2023, and teachers are welcome to submit their papers. For submission, please contact:

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