Ethylene Selectivity in Electrocatalytic CO2Reduction on Cu Nanomaterials: A Crystal Phase-Dependent Study

Ye Chen, Zhanxi Fan, Jiong Wang, Chongyi Ling, Wenxin Niu, Zhiqi Huang, Guigao Liu, Bo Chen, Zhuangchai Lai, Xiaozhi Liu, Bing Li, Yun Zong, Lin Gu, Jinlan Wang, Xin Wang, Hua Zhang, Xin Wang, Hua Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

198 Citations (Scopus)


The crystal phase of metal nanocatalysts significantly affects their catalytic performance. Cu-based nanomaterials are unique electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) to produce high-value hydrocarbons. However, studies to date are limited to the conventional face-centered cubic (fcc) Cu. Here, we report a crystal phase-dependent catalytic behavior of Cu, after the successful synthesis of high-purity 4H Cu and heterophase 4H/fcc Cu using the 4H and 4H/fcc Au as templates, respectively. Remarkably, the obtained unconventional crystal structures of Cu exhibit enhanced overall activity and higher ethylene (C2H4) selectivity in CO2RR compared to the fcc Cu. Density functional theory calculations suggest that the 4H phase and 4H/fcc interface of Cu favor the C2H4 formation pathway compared to the fcc Cu, leading to the crystal phase-dependent C2H4 selectivity. This study demonstrates the importance of crystal phase engineering of metal nanocatalysts for electrocatalytic reactions, offering a new strategy to prepare novel catalysts with unconventional phases for various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12760-12766
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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