Nano-Micro Letters, Volume. 15, Issue 1, 238(2023)

Atomic Cu Sites Engineering Enables Efficient CO2 Electroreduction to Methane with High CH4/C2H4 Ratio

Minhan Li1,2、†, Fangzhou Zhang1、†, Min Kuang1, Yuanyuan Ma1、*, Ting Liao3, Ziqi Sun3, Wei Luo1, Wan Jiang1, and Jianping Yang1、**
Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Functional Materials, State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People’s Republic of China
  • 2College of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, People’s Republic of China
  • 3School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering, School of Chemistry and Physics, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
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    Electrochemical reduction of CO2 into high-value hydrocarbons and alcohols by using Cu-based catalysts is a promising and attractive technology for CO2 capture and utilization, resulting from their high catalytic activity and selectivity. The mobility and accessibility of active sites in Cu-based catalysts significantly hinder the development of efficient Cu-based catalysts for CO2 electrochemical reduction reaction (CO2RR). Herein, a facile and effective strategy is developed to engineer accessible and structural stable Cu sites by incorporating single atomic Cu into the nitrogen cavities of the host graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) as the active sites for CO2-to-CH4 conversion in CO2RR. By regulating the coordination and density of Cu sites in g-C3N4, an optimal catalyst corresponding to a one Cu atom in one nitrogen cavity reaches the highest CH4 Faraday efficiency of 49.04% and produces the products with a high CH4/C2H4 ratio over 9. This work provides the first experimental study on g-C3N4-supported single Cu atom catalyst for efficient CH4 production from CO2RR and suggests a principle in designing highly stable and selective high-efficiency Cu-based catalysts for CO2RR by engineering Cu active sites in 2D materials with porous crystal structures.


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    Minhan Li, Fangzhou Zhang, Min Kuang, Yuanyuan Ma, Ting Liao, Ziqi Sun, Wei Luo, Wan Jiang, Jianping Yang. Atomic Cu Sites Engineering Enables Efficient CO2 Electroreduction to Methane with High CH4/C2H4 Ratio[J]. Nano-Micro Letters, 2023, 15(1): 238

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    Paper Information

    Category: Research Articles

    Received: May. 12, 2023

    Accepted: Aug. 17, 2023

    Published Online: Dec. 15, 2023

    The Author Email: Ma Yuanyuan (, Yang Jianping (