Over a 15.9% Solar-to-CO Conversion from Dilute CO2 Streams Catalyzed by Gold Nanoclusters Exhibiting a High CO2 Binding Affinity

Beomil Kim, Hoeun Seong, Jun Tae Song, Kyuju Kwak, Hakhyeon Song, Ying Chuan Tan, Gibeom Park, Dongil Lee, Jihun Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Development of efficient and selective electrocatalysts is a key challenge to achieve an industry-relevant electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) to produce commodity chemicals. Here, we report that Au25 clusters with Au-thiolate staple motifs can initiate electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to CO with nearly zero energy loss and achieve a high CO2RR current density of 540 mA cm-2 in a gas-phase reactor. Electrochemical kinetic investigations revealed that the high CO2RR activity of the Au25 originates from the strong CO2 binding affinity, leading to high CO2 electrolysis performance in both concentrated and dilute CO2 streams. Finally, we demonstrated an 18.0% solar-to-CO conversion efficiency using a Au25 electrolyzer powered by a Ga0.5In0.5P/GaAs photovoltaic cell. The electrolyzer also showed 15.9% efficiency and a 5.2% solar-driven single-path CO2 conversion rate in a 10% CO2 gas stream, the CO2 concentration in a typical flue gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 13

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Korea CCS R&D Center (Korea CCS 2020 Project) (KCRC-2014M1A8A1049303 and NRF-2014M1A8A1074219) and the Creative Materials Discovery Program (NRF-2017M3D1A1040692), funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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