2, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
3, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, United States
The ability to directly produce fuels by consumption of carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the promising solutions that would have a transformational impact on both global energy and environmental sustainability. The success of this groundbreaking technology depends on products that forms from consumption of CO2, and hence it is important to develop effective catalytic materials for facilitating the CO2 conversion process. However, existing catalysts do not exhibit high efficiency and good selectivity, which is leading to multiple products. Major reported CO2 reduction catalysts are limited with formation of CO and formate that is two-electron reduced products. The formation of hydrocarbon products, which involve multiple proton and electron transfers still remain one of the major scientific challenges that needs to be addressed. Presently, there is no known catalyst that can facilitate CO2 conversion to hydrocarbon fuels with both good efficiency and high selectivity mainly because of the little mechanistic understanding. Here, we will discuss tuning the hybrid structure of metal-oxide nanoparticles and two-dimensional (2D) layered materials as an efficient and selective CO2 reduction electrocatalyst with the density functional theory calculations, which reveals the unusual electrocatalytic properties of hybrid structure creating intrinsic chemical and electronic coupling and assist to understand the mechanism beyond the process.