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Issue 12, 2015
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Overpotential for CO2 electroreduction lowered on strained penta-twinned Cu nanowires

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Abstract

Based on first-principles calculations, we predict that penta-twinned Cu nanowires (NWs) are superior to conventional Cu catalysts for CO2 electroreduction. The penta-twinned NWs possess a combination of ultrahigh mechanical strength, large surface-to-volume ratios and an abundance of undercoordinated adsorption sites, all desirable for CO2 electroreduction. In particular, we show that the penta-twinned Cu NWs can withstand elastic strains orders of magnitude higher than their conventional counterpart, and as a result their CO2 electroreduction activities can be significantly enhanced by elastic tensile strains. With a moderate tensile strain, the bias potential for methane production at a decent current density (2 mA cm−2) can be reduced by 50%. On the other hand, the competing hydrogen evolution reaction can be suppressed by the tensile strains. The presence of H at the NW surface is found to have a minor effect on CO2 electroreduction. Finally, we propose to use graphene as a substrate to stretch deposited Cu NWs.

Graphical abstract: Overpotential for CO2 electroreduction lowered on strained penta-twinned Cu nanowires

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Jul 2015
Accepted
19 Aug 2015
First published
19 Aug 2015

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2015,6, 6829-6835
Article type
Edge Article

Overpotential for CO2 electroreduction lowered on strained penta-twinned Cu nanowires

Z. Chen, X. Zhang and G. Lu, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 6829
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02667A

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