JOURNAL ARTICLE

Highly efficient visible light photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbon fuels by Cu-nanoparticle decorated graphene oxide

Indrajit Shown, Hsin-Cheng Hsu, Yu-Chung Chang, Chang-Hui Lin, Pradip Kumar Roy, Abhijit Ganguly, Chen-Hao Wang, Jan-Kai Chang, Chih-I Wu, Li-Chyong Chen, Kuei-Hsien Chen
Nano Letters 2014 November 12, 14 (11): 6097-103
25354234
The production of renewable solar fuel through CO2 photoreduction, namely artificial photosynthesis, has gained tremendous attention in recent times due to the limited availability of fossil-fuel resources and global climate change caused by rising anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. In this study, graphene oxide (GO) decorated with copper nanoparticles (Cu-NPs), hereafter referred to as Cu/GO, has been used to enhance photocatalytic CO2 reduction under visible-light. A rapid one-pot microwave process was used to prepare the Cu/GO hybrids with various Cu contents. The attributes of metallic copper nanoparticles (∼4-5 nm in size) in the GO hybrid are shown to significantly enhance the photocatalytic activity of GO, primarily through the suppression of electron-hole pair recombination, further reduction of GO's bandgap, and modification of its work function. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy studies indicate a charge transfer from GO to Cu. A strong interaction is observed between the metal content of the Cu/GO hybrids and the rates of formation and selectivity of the products. A factor of greater than 60 times enhancement in CO2 to fuel catalytic efficiency has been demonstrated using Cu/GO-2 (10 wt % Cu) compared with that using pristine GO.

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