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Zn nanosheets coated with a ZnS subnanometer layer for effective and durable CO₂ reduction

Li, Chenglong, Shen, Gurong, Zhang, Rui, Wu, Deyao, Zou, Chengqin, Ling, Tao, Liu, Hui, Dong, Cunku, Du, Xi-Wen
Journal of materials chemistry A 2019 v.7 no.4 pp. 1418-1423
adsorption, cadmium, carbon dioxide, catalysts, catalytic activity, durability, electrochemistry, energy, nanosheets, tin, value added, zinc, zinc sulfide
Electrochemical reduction of CO₂ into value-added chemicals provides a facile solution to energy and environmental crisis. Non-precious metals (Zn, Cd, Sn etc.) were identified as promising catalysts for the reduction of CO₂. However, their electron-rich peculiarity causes weak adsorption of reaction intermediates and poor performance for CO₂ reduction. Here we report that a conceptually new electrocatalyst, Zn nanosheets coated with a porous ZnS subnanometer layer, can achieve excellent catalytic performance which is comparable with that of noble metallic catalysts. Experimental and theoretical investigations reveal that the ZnS subnanometer layer plays a similar role to S dopants, modifies the adsorption of Zn catalysts appropriately, and eventually achieves high catalytic activity. Meanwhile, different from S doping, the ZnS subnanometer layer is chemically inert during the reduction of CO₂, thus providing long-term durability.