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J Am Chem Soc. 2017 Jun 21;139(24):8078-8081. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b02736. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Ionic Exchange of Metal-Organic Frameworks to Access Single Nickel Sites for Efficient Electroreduction of CO2.

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Department of Chemistry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei 230026, China.
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei 230026, China.
Department of Chemistry and Collaborative Innovation Center for Nanomaterial Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University , Beijing 100084, China.


Single-atom catalysts often exhibit unexpected catalytic activity for many important chemical reactions because of their unique electronic and geometric structures with respect to their bulk counterparts. Herein we adopt metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to assist the preparation of a catalyst containing single Ni sites for efficient electroreduction of CO2. The synthesis is based on ionic exchange between Zn nodes and adsorbed Ni ions within the cavities of the MOF. This single-atom catalyst exhibited an excellent turnover frequency for electroreduction of CO2 (5273 h-1), with a Faradaic efficiency for CO production of over 71.9% and a current density of 10.48 mA cm-2 at an overpotential of 0.89 V. Our findings present some guidelines for the rational design and accurate modulation of nanostructured catalysts at the atomic scale.


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