Restructuring-induced catalytic activity is an intriguing phenomenon of fundamental importance to rational design of high-performance catalyst materials. We study three coppercomplex materials for electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction. Among them, the copper(II) phthalocyanine exhibits by far the highest activity for yielding methane with a Faradaic efficiency of 66% and a partial current density of 13 mA cm2 at the potential of - 1.06 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode. Utilizing in-situ and operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy, we find that under the working conditions copper(II) phthalocyanine undergoes reversible structural and oxidation state changes to form 2 nm metallic copper clusters, which catalyzes the carbon dioxide-To-methane conversion. Density functional calculations rationalize the restructuring behavior and attribute the reversibility to the strong divalent metal ion-ligand coordination in the copper(II) phthalocyanine molecular structure and the small size of the generated copper clusters under the reaction conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)