On-chip Electrocatalytic Microdevice based on 2D Semiconductors for CO2 Reduction Reaction

Project: Research

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Description

CO2 is the single most important greenhouse gas that dominates global warming. Humanity’s primary strategy combating the ongoing climate change is the reduction of CO2 emission across the broad. Unfortunately, we are significantly behind even the minimalemission-reduction target set by the Paris Agreement. To this end, CO2 capture and conversion technologies are gaining increasing attention as supplementary or alternative solutions to decarbonization. Compared with conventional CO2 recycling processes such as energy-intense thermal driven CO2 hydrogenation, the emerging electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) directly converts CO2 gas to chemical fuels using electricity, offering a viable economic and technological solution towards carbon neutrality. Sitting at the core of the CO2RR is the development of highly efficient electrocatalysts. However, although intensively researched in the academic world, Cu and its derivatives remain the only viable candidates, which are still far behind the requirement for practical applications. Further development in CO2RR technologies calls for innovation in both catalysts systems and electrochemicalmethodologies. Among the emerging high-performance electrocatalysts, 2D semiconductors have demonstrated remarkable performance in electrocatalytic CO2RR with high current density and selectivity. On the other hand, on-chip electrochemistry is an emerging interdisciplinary platform with particular advantages in probing the complex solid-liquid interface (SEI) of nanostructured semiconcutors, gaining insights inaccessible to conventional electrochemicalmethods. In this project, we aim at developing an on-chip platform of electrocatalytic microdevices (EMs) to investigate 2D semiconductors for CO2RR at the microscopic level. Because CO2RR produces complex chemical products, the critical step of this project is the integration of microfluidic flow cells to realize product analysis of CO2RR at ultralow production rate due to the microscopic catalyst surface. Upon the successful establishment of the EM measurement and product analysis protocols, we will systematically evaluate the potential of 2D semiconductors for CO2RR by (i) optimizing charge transport; (ii) identifyingthe catalytic active sites; (iii) introducing back-gate modulation; (iv) incorporating in-situ surface enhance Raman scattering characterization. More importantly, on-chip EM based on 2D semiconductors could provide an ideal model system for studying the intrinsic charge transfer kinetics across SEI in CO2RR, which is extremely difficult to achieve in conventional electrochemical cells due to the limitation of mass transfer. The success of this project would shed light on the infinite possibility of novel semiconductor electrocatalysts for high-efficient CO2RR. 

Detail(s)

Project number9043393
Grant typeGRF
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …