BIT Has Made Significant Progress in the Design of Indium Single-atom Catalysts and Electrocatalytic CO2 Reduction

  Beijing Institute of Technology, September 3th 2020: Recently, Associate Researcher Chen Wenxing and Professor Zhang Jiatao from the Institute of Energy Catalysis, School of Materials Science and Engineering of Beijing Institute of Technology(BIT) and Professor Wang Dingsheng and Academician Li Yadong from Tsinghua University collaborated in the design and synthesis of In single-atom catalysts and high-efficiency electrocatalytic CO2 reduction ( CO2RR) has made important progress in the study of formate preparation. The related results were published in the top journal "Angewandte Chemie International Edition" with the title "Design of a Single-Atom Indiumδ+-N4 Interface for Efficient Electroreduction of CO2 to Formate" ( IF: 12.959) (Article DOI: 10.1002 / anie.202010903). 

  The main group metal In, as an electrocatalytic CO2 reduction catalyst for the selective preparation of formate, has attracted more and more attention. Although nano-structured metals such as In, In2O3, and In2S3 have been designed to improve catalytic performance, new and efficient In-based catalysts still need further research. Recently, Chen Wenxing et al. have designed an In single-atom catalyst (In-SAs/NC) with an Inδ+-N4 atomic interface structure anchored on a nitrogen-doped carbon support derived from a metal organic framework (MOF). The catalyst has excellent CO2RR performance. At -0.65 V, In-SAs/NC achieves a maximum Faraday Efficiency (FE) of 96% and an optimal conversion frequency (TOF) of up to 12,500 h−1, better than the majority of similar catalysts. In addition, X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) studies based on synchrotron radiation show that Inδ+-N4 atomic interface structure has higher catalytic activity for electrocatalytic CO2RR, and the bond length of Inδ+-N4 atomic interface structure is shortened during the catalytic process. The DFT theoretical simulation calculation results show that the In δ+-N4 atomic interface has lower free energy for the formate intermediate (HCOO*), which is beneficial to improve the catalytic activity of the catalyst for CO2RR. This work provides a new way for the rational design of main group metal catalysts for energy applications.

Figure 1 Synthesis and morphology characterization of In single-atom catalyst

Figure 2 Fine characterization of Inδ+-N4 atomic interface structure

Figure 3 Performance test of In single-atom electrocatalytic CO2RR selective preparation of formate

Figure 4 DFT theoretical calculation

  Paper information: The above research results were supported by the Beijing Key Laboratory of Structural Controllable Advanced Functional Materials and Green Applications, the Advanced Materials Experimental Center of the School of Materials, and the Institute of Energy Catalysis (under preparation) of the Department of Materials Physics and Chemistry, and received the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21801015) ,), the Youth Research Fund Project of BIT (3090012221909), and the support of the Innovative Talent Support Program of the Research Institute. Dr. Shang Huishan (currently associate professor of Zhengzhou University) from School of Materials Science and Engineering, BIT, Dr. Wang Tao from Stanford University (currently a distinguished researcher of West Lake University, independent PI), Dr. Pei Jiajing from Beijing University of Chemical Technology are co-first authors, associate researcher Chen Wenxing of BIT, Zhang Jiatao professor and associate professor Wang Dingsheng of Tsinghua University are the co-corresponding authors, and BIT is the first communication unit.
Paper link: https: //onlinelibrary. wiley. com / doi / 10.1002 / anie.202010903