Dendritic Cu: a high-efficiency electrocatalyst for N2 fixation to NH3 under ambient conditions†
The artificial N2 fixation to NH3 is dominated by the traditional Haber–Bosch process, which consumes large amounts of energy and natural gas with low energy efficiency and large amounts of CO2 emissions. Electrochemical N2 reduction is a promising and environmentally friendly route for artificial N2-to-NH3 fixation under milder conditions. Herein, we report that dendritic Cu acts as a highly active electrocatalyst to catalyze N2 to NH3 fixation under ambient conditions. When tested in 0.1 M HCl, such an electrocatalyst achieves a high faradaic efficiency of 15.12% and a large NH3 yield rate of 25.63 μg h−1 mgcat.−1 at −0.40 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode. Notably, this catalyst shows high electrochemical stability and excellent selectivity toward NH3 synthesis.