Research Article Issue
Coordinately unsaturated nickel single atom electrocatalyst for efficient CO2 conversion
Nano Research 2023, 16 (8): 10873-10880
Published: 06 July 2023

Single-atom catalysts (SACs) have shown unexpected catalytic activity due to their unique electronic structure and coordination environment. Nonetheless, the synthesis of an atomically precise low-coordination single-atom catalyst remains a grand challenge. Herein, we report a coordinately unsaturated Ni-N3 single-atom electrocatalyst using a metal-organic framework (MOF) derived N-C support with abundant exposed N for excellent electrochemical CO2 reduction. The obtained Ni-N3/NC active site exhibited highly efficient CO2-to-CO conversion with a Faradaic efficiency of 94.6% at the current density of 100 mA/cm2. In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) measurement suggested that the Ni atomic center with unsaturated coordination had the lower initial chemical state and higher charge transfer ability. In situ Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and theoretical calculation results revealed that the unsaturated catalytically active center could facilitate activation of CO2 and thus heighten CO2 electroreduction activity. These findings provided insights into the rational design of definitive coordination structure of SACs for boosting activity and selectivity.

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