Lewis acid activated CO2 reduction over a Ni modified Ni–Ge hydroxide driven by visible-infrared light†
Improvement of light harvesting and reaction kinetics is of great importance for achieving efficient solar-driven CO2 reduction. Here, a Ni modified low-crystalline Ni–Ge containing hydroxide with Lewis acid sites was synthesized in highly reductive NaBH4 solution and exhibited 9.3 μmol gcat.−1 h−1 CO and 3.5 μmol gcat.−1 h−1 CH4 generation rates under visible light irradiation, and even achieved a 3.8 μmol gcat.−1 h−1 CO evolution under infrared light irradiation. The wide-spectrum light harvesting resulted from the light absorption from the localized surface plasmonic resonance of Ni nanoparticles. In addition, the Lewis acid can activate CO bonds to decrease the kinetic barriers of CO2 reduction. The design concept that rationally combines the advantages of expanding the spectral response and activating CO2 may offer a new strategy for efficient solar energy utilization.