Investigating and Identifying the Electroreduction Pathways of Carbon Dioxide via Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopy

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2013-05

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The Ohio State University

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Abstract

As the world's energy needs continue to rise, and our conventional resources are depleted it is becoming increasingly clear that the current methods used to meet our societal demands, are not sustainable. The development of renewable energy technology will be essential to make a significant contribution to the future stability of our society's environmental and material health. Thus, the utilization of industrially and naturally abundant resources such as solar energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) are increasingly attractive. Electrochemical reduction is a promising method for converting CO2 to useful, high energy density chemical compounds and feed stocks. Product distribution from the reduction of CO2 greatly depends on the electrolyte composition, preparation of the catalysts and reduction potential. This project examines the electrochemical pathways of CO2 reduction by detecting the reaction intermediates on copper-based catalysts. By employing in-situ Raman spectroscopy on multifunctional Surface Enhancing Raman Scattering (SERS) materials this investigation aims to advance our understanding of CO2 reduction and improve the efficacy of its heterogeneous catalysis. Here we report our attempts for fabricating patterned copper and gold materials and our systematic optimization of nanoporous copper SERS catalyst. In addition, we present the initial data on the in-situ detection of reaction intermediates on our substrates, produced during CO2 electro-reduction to various chemical compounds.

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SERS, nanoporous copper, electro-reduction, In-situ

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