Catalytic Mismatching of CuInSe2 and Ni3Al Demonstrates Selective Photoelectrochemical CO2 Reduction to Methanol

Brian M. Foster, Aubrey R. Paris, Jessica J. Frick, Daniel A. Blasini-Pérez, Robert J. Cava, Andrew B. Bocarsly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Photoelectrochemical catalysts are often plagued by ineffective interfacial charge transfer or nonideal optical conversion properties. To overcome this challenge, strategically pairing a catalytically inactive, optically proficient semiconductor with a selective electrocatalyst, coined "catalytic mismatching", is suggested. Here, chalcopyrite semiconductor CuInSe2 is paired with the electrocatalyst Ni3Al to selectively reduce CO2. This catalytically mismatched system produces methanol at a Faradaic efficiency 25 times greater than that achieved using the purely electrochemical Ni3Al system while reducing the operating potential requirement by 600 mV. These results suggest that catalytic mismatching is a promising tactic to achieve reaction selectivity in synergistic photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-113
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • CO reduction
  • CuInSe
  • NiAl
  • chalcogenides
  • methanol
  • photoelectrochemistry


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