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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Sep 7;8(35):23022-7. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b05903. Epub 2016 Aug 25.

Bifunctional Interface of Au and Cu for Improved CO2 Electroreduction.

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Graduate School of EEWS, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) , 291 Daehakro, Daejeon 34141, Korea.
Department of Energy System, School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University , Busan 609-735, Korea.
Hybrid Materials Solution National Core Research Center (NCRC), Pusan National University , Busan 609-735, Korea.


Gold is known currently as the most active single-element electrocatalyst for CO2 electroreduction reaction to CO. In this work, we combine Au with a second metal element, Cu, to reduce the amount of precious metal content by increasing the surface-to-mass ratio and to achieve comparable activity to Au-based catalysts. In particular, we demonstrate that the introduction of a Au-Cu bifunctional "interface" is more beneficial than a simple and conventional homogeneous alloying of Au and Cu in stabilizing the key intermediate species, *COOH. The main advantages of the proposed metal-metal bifunctional interfacial catalyst over the bimetallic alloys include that (1) utilization of active materials is improved, and (2) intrinsic properties of metals are less affected in bifunctional catalysts than in alloys, which can then facilitate a rational bifunctional design. These results demonstrate for the first time the importance of metal-metal interfaces and morphology, rather than the simple mixing of the two metals homogeneously, for enhanced catalytic synergies.


CO2 electroreduction; bifunctional effects; density functional calculations; electrocatalyst; gold


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