Electrochemical C2 Production from CO2 via Self-Assembled Nanoparticles of Cuprous Coordination Polymer

Copper (Cu) metal electrocatalysts activate the CO2 reduction reaction to produce multi electron reductants; however, the instability of the copper active species causes a change in reaction selectivity. Molecular catalysts can be designed as CO2 reduction catalysts with high selectivity, although the production of multi-electron reductants (>2e-) while maintaining the catalyst structure remains difficult. Here we present self-assembled nanoparticles of a cuprous coordination polymer (Cu-SCP) that can catalyze CO2 electrochemical reduction to C2 products, such as ethylene and ethanol, with a total faradaic efficiency of 55%. Cu-SCP maintains its metal complex structure and the Cu (I) oxidation state throughout the reaction. The Cu-SCP catalyst has advantages of being both a molecular and metal catalyst, which should open up new possibilities for CO2 reduction catalysts.