Experimental and Theoretical Elucidation of Electrochemical CO 2 Reduction on an Electrodeposited Cu 3 Sn Alloy

Masayuki Morimoto, Yoshiyuki Takatsuji, Satoshi Iikubo, Shoya Kawano, Tatsuya Sakakura, Tetsuya Haruyama

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The reaction selectivity of an electrode catalyst can be modulated by regulating its crystal structure, and the modified electrode may show different CO 2 reduction selectivity from that of its constituent metal. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of the electrochemical CO 2 reduction on an electrodeposited Cu 3 Sn alloy by experimental and theoretical analyses. The electrodeposited Cu 3 Sn alloy electrode showed selectivity for CO production at all the applied potentials, and HCOOH production increased with an increase in the applied potential. In particular, hydrocarbon generation was well suppressed on Cu 3 Sn(002). To understand this selectivity change in electrochemical CO 2 reduction, we conducted density functional theory calculations for the reaction on the Cu 3 Sn(002) surface. According to the theoretical analysis, the Cu sites in Cu 3 Sn(002) contributed more to the stabilization of H∗, COOH∗, and CO∗ as compared with the Sn sites. Furthermore, the results indicated that Cu 3 Sn(002) decreased the surface coverage of reaction intermediates such as H∗, COOH∗, and CO∗. We believe that these effects promoted CO∗ desorption while suppressing H 2 generation, CO∗ protonation, and C-C bond formation. The results also suggested that the surface Sn concentration significantly affected the reaction selectivity for HCOOH production from CO 2 .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3004-3010
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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