Electrochemically Driven Cation Exchange Enables the Rational Design of Active CO2 Reduction Electrocatalysts

Wenhui He, Itamar Liberman, Illya Rozenberg, Raya Ifraemov, Idan Hod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Metal oxides or sulfides are considered to be one of the most promising CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) precatalysts, owing to their electrochemical conversion in situ into highly active electrocatalytic species. However, further improvement of the performance requires new tools to gain fine control over the composition of the active species and its structural features [e.g., grain boundaries (GBs) and undercoordinated sites (USs)], directly from a predesigned template material. Herein, we describe a novel electrochemically driven cation exchange (ED-CE) method that enables the conversion of a predesigned CoS2 template into a CO2RR catalyst, Cu2S. By means of ED-CE, the final Cu2S catalyst inherits the original 3 D morphology of CoS2, and preserves its high density of GBs. Additionally, the catalyst's phase structure, composition, and density of USs were precisely tuned, thus enabling rational design of active CO2RR sites. The obtained Cu2S catalyst achieved a CO2-to-formate Faradaic efficiency of over 87 % and a record high activity (among reported Cu-based catalysts). Hence, this study opens the way for utilization of ED-CE reactions to design advanced electrocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8262-8269
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number21
StatePublished - 18 May 2020


  • CO reduction reaction
  • cation exchange
  • electrocatalysis
  • formate
  • metal sulfide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrochemically Driven Cation Exchange Enables the Rational Design of Active CO2 Reduction Electrocatalysts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this