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High-Performance Carbon Dioxide Electrocatalytic Reduction by Easily Fabricated Large-Scale Silver Nanowire Arrays

Luan, Chuhao, Shao, Yang, Lu, Qi, Gao, Shenghan, Huang, Kai, Wu, Hui, Yao, Kefu
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.21 pp. 17950-17956
carbon dioxide, catalysts, crystal structure, electrical conductivity, electrochemistry, foil, nanosilver, nanowires, selectivity (chemistry), silver, surface area
An efficient and selective catalyst is in urgent need for carbon dioxide electroreduction and silver is one of the promising candidates with affordable costs. Here we fabricated large-scale vertically standing Ag nanowire arrays with high crystallinity and electrical conductivity as carbon dioxide electroreduction catalysts by a simple nanomolding method that was usually considered not feasible for metallic crystalline materials. A great enhancement of current densities and selectivity for CO at moderate potentials was achieved. The current density for CO (jcₒ) of Ag nanowire array with 200 nm in diameter was more than 2500 times larger than that of Ag foil at an overpotential of 0.49 V with an efficiency over 90%. The origin of enhanced performances are attributed to greatly increased electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) and higher intrinsic activity compared to those of polycrystalline Ag foil. More low-coordinated sites on the nanowires which can stabilize the CO₂ intermediate better are responsible for the high intrinsic activity. In addition, the impact of surface morphology that induces limited mass transportation on reaction selectivity and efficiency of nanowire arrays with different diameters was also discussed.