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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Materials Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- CO reduction