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Research Article

Cu2−xS derived copper nanoparticles: A platform for unraveling the role of surface reconstruction in efficient electrocatalytic CO2-to-C2H4 conversion

Chaohua He1,2,§Delong Duan1,§Jingxiang Low1,§Yu Bai1Yawen Jiang1Xinyu Wang1Shuangming Chen1Ran Long1( )Li Song1Yujie Xiong1,2( )
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Frontiers Science Center for Planetary Exploration and Emerging Technologies, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, and National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
Hefei Comprehensive National Science Center, 350 Shushanhu Rd., Hefei 230031, China

§ Chaohua He, Delong Duan, and Jingxiang Low contributed equally to this work.

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Cu-based electrocatalysts have provoked much attention for their high activity and selectivity in carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion into multi-carbon hydrocarbons. However, during the electrochemical reaction, Cu catalysts inevitably undergo surface reconstruction whose impact on CO2 conversion performance remains contentious. Here we report that polycrystalline Cu nanoparticles (denoted as Cu-s) with rich high-index facets, derived from Cu2xS through desulphurization and surface reconstruction, offer an excellent platform for investigating the role of surface reconstruction in electrocatalytic CO2 conversion. During the formation of Cu-s catalyst, the two stages of desulphurization and surface reconstruction can be clearly resolved by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and OH adsorption characterizations, which are well correlated with the changes in electrocatalytic performance. It turns out that the high CO2 conversion performance, achieved by the Cu-s catalyst (Faradic efficiency of 68.6% and partial current density of 40.8 mA/cm2 in H-cell toward C2H4 production), is attributed to the increased percentage of high-index facets in Cu-s during the surface reconstruction. Furthermore, the operando electrochemical Raman spectroscopy further reveals that the conversion of the CO2 into the C2H4 on Cu-s is intermediated by the production of *COCHO. Our findings manifest that the surface reconstruction is an effective method for tuning the reaction intermediate of the CO2 conversion toward high-value multicarbon (C2+) chemicals, and highlight the significance of in situ characterizations in enhancing the understanding of the surface structure and its role in electrocatalysis.

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Nano Research
Pages 4495-4498
Cite this article:
He C, Duan D, Low J, et al. Cu2−xS derived copper nanoparticles: A platform for unraveling the role of surface reconstruction in efficient electrocatalytic CO2-to-C2H4 conversion. Nano Research, 2023, 16(4): 4495-4498.
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Received: 05 April 2021
Revised: 15 April 2021
Accepted: 19 April 2021
Published: 20 May 2021
© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021