The Regents of the University of California, U.C. San Diego La Jolla United States
The objective of this work it to perform a combined theoretical and experimental study of CO2 reduction at metals, semiconductors and homogeneous electrocatalysts, and to understand at a detailed molecular level the catalytic processes involved in reducing CO2 to valuable energy-dense liquids. Of particular importance is to understand branching ratios and sources of selectivity. That is, how and why a catalyst or surface generates its particular products from CO2. A fundamental understanding of the underlying mechanisms and characteristics of CO2 reduction catalysts will allow the development of more robust, active, and selective catalysts using earth-abundant materials. A primary goal is to understand the interfaces of heterogeneous and homogeneous systems and develop an understanding of how a homogeneous co-catalyst can be coupled with a heterogeneous metal electrode or semiconductor in order to reduce reaction barriers and increase the overall activity and selectivity for the reduction of CO2 to liquid fuels.