Liquid metal copper-indium heterostructures c | EurekAlert!

2022-08-27 01:07:22 By : Ms. Alice Zhou

image: Nanoscale structure schematic diagram and photographs of the (a) Cu foam, (b) EGaIn/Cu, (c) CuGa2 & In, and (d) nh-CuIn. SEM patterns of the (e) Cu foam, (f) EGaIn/Cu, (g) CuGa2 & In, and (h) nh-CuIn. view more 

Nanoporous metals show promising performances in electrochemical catalysis. The conventional fabrication methods for these nanoporous metals are chemical dealloying, electrochemical dealloying, and vapor dealloying. These methods allow for uniform and controllable pore characteristics. However, they also require high temperature, pressure control, applied voltage, and/or complex template preparation. Therefore, simple and energy-efficient methods for preparing high-performance nanoporous metal catalysts are highly desired.

Dr. Xiaoqiang Cui from Jilin University and Dr. Jingxiang Zhao from Harbin Normal University report a self-supporting bimetallic porous heterogeneous indium/copper structure (nh-CuIn) synthesized with a eutectic gallium–indium (EGaIn) material with a copper substrate. This nanoporous copper-indium heterostructure catalyst exhibits excellent performance in the reduction of carbon dioxide to syngas. The ratio of H2/CO is tunable from 0.47 to 2.0 by changing the working potentials. The catalyst is highly stable, showing 96% maintenance of the current density after a 70-h continuous test.

The authors said “based on the experimental results, DFT calculations were condected to explore the reasons for the observed excellent performance of the nh-CuIn catalyst. The results show that there was charge transfer and charge redistribution in the Cu substrate when the indium layer was added. The indium/copper interface induces charge redistribution within the copper surface, leading to the formation of two distinct active sites, namely, Cuδ and Cu0, and enabling high-performance generations of CO and H2”.

This work provides insights into the rational design of nanoporous heterostructure materials based on a new synthesis approach leading to improved electrochemical properties and a wide range of potential applications.

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Bei Yan Science China Press

Xiaoqiang Cui State Key Laboratory of Automotive Simulation and Control, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Automobile Materials of MOE, Jilin University

Copyright © 2022 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Copyright © 2022 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)