Morphology Matters: Tuning the Product Distribution of CO 2 Electroreduction on Oxide-Derived Cu Foam Catalysts

Dutta, Abhijit; Motiar, Rahaman; Lüdi, Nicola; Mohos, Miklos; Broekmann, Peter (2016). Morphology Matters: Tuning the Product Distribution of CO 2 Electroreduction on Oxide-Derived Cu Foam Catalysts. ACS Catalysis, 6(6), pp. 3804-3814. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acscatal.6b00770

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Mesoporous Cu foams formed by a template-assisted electrodeposition process have been identified as CO2 electrocatalysts that are highly selective toward C2 product formation (C2H4 and C2H6) with C2 efficiencies (FEC2) reaching 55%. The partial current of C2 product formation was found to be higher than that of the (parasitic) hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at any potential studied (−0.4 to −1.0 vs the reversible hydrogen electrode). Moreover, formate production could largely be suppressed at any applied potential down to efficiencies (FEformate) of ≤6%. A key point of the Cu foam catalyst activation is the in operando reduction of a Cu2O phase, thereby creating a large abundance of surface sites active for C–C coupling. The cuprous oxide phase has been formed after the Cu electrodeposition step by exposing the large-surface area catalyst to air at room temperature. The superior selectivity of the Cu foam catalyst studied herein originates from a combination of two effects, the availability of specific surface sites for C–C coupling [dominant (100) surface texture] and the temporal trapping of gaseous intermediates (in particular CO and C2H4) inside the mesoporous catalyst material during CO2 electrolysis. A systematic CO2 electrolysis study reveals a strong dependence of the C2 efficiencies on the particular surface pore size of the mesoporous Cu catalysts with a maximal FEC2 between 50 and 100 μm pore diameters.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Dutta, Abhijit; Motiar Rahaman, Motiar Rahaman; Lüdi, Nicola; Mohos, Miklos and Broekmann, Peter


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science




American Chemical Society




Beatrice Niederhauser

Date Deposited:

24 Jan 2017 10:48

Last Modified:

02 Apr 2019 16:13

Publisher DOI:





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