Operando X-ray synchrotron tracking of photocatalyst activity under real-world reaction conditions

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source studied Cu2O photocatalysts for CO2 reduction to methanol using Hummingbird Scientific’s X-ray Synchrotron in-situ gas/heating/optical sample holder. Their work, published in Nature Energy, shows that the (110) facets of the catalyst are active, whereas the (100) facets are not. The understanding of facet-dependent activity can be used to optimize the catalyst microstructure to increase the efficiency of photocatalysts. 

Images of a Cu2O photocatalyst particle in TEM (middle) and X-ray synchotron (right). Copyright © 2019, Springer Nature

Reference: Yimin A. Wu, Ian McNulty, Cong Liu, Kah Chun Lau, Qi Liu, Arvydas P. Paulikas, Cheng-Jun Sun, Zhonghou Cai, Jeffrey R. Guest, Yang Ren, Vojislav Stamenkovic, Larry A. Curtiss, Yuzi Liu & Tijana Rajh, “Facet-dependent active sites of a single Cu2O particle photocatalyst for CO2 reduction to methanol” Nature Energy (2019), volume 4, pages 957–968 Abstract

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