The photochemical fixation of CO2 to energy rich products for solar energy storage or feedstock chemicals is an attractive, albeit daunting, challenge. The overall feasibility of CO2 conversion is limited by the availability of efficient photo-active materials that meet the energetic requirements for CO2 reduction and are optically matched to the solar spectrum. Surface modification of TiO2 with earth abundant metal oxides presents one approach to develop visible active photocatalysts through band gap narrowing, while providing catalytic sites to lower the activation energy for CO2 reduction. In this work density functional theory was used to model the effect of surface modification of rutile and anatase using MnOx nanoclusters. The results indicate the formation of inter-band gap states following surface modification with MnOx, but surface water can change this. Oxygen vacancies are predicted to form in supported MnOx and the interaction with CO2 was investigated. MnOx-TiO2 was synthesized and characterised using surface analytical methods and photoelectrochemistry. The interaction of CO2 with the materials under irradiation was probed using in-situ FTIR to interrogate the role of oxygen vacancies in CO2 binding and reaction. These results provide insights into the requirements of a multifunctional catalyst for CO2 conversion.
- Carbon dioxide
- Density functional theory
- Oxygen vacancies
Schwartzenberg, K. C., Hamilton, J., Lucid, A. K., Weitz, E., Notestein, J., Nolan, M., ... Gray, K. A. (2017). Multifunctional photo/thermal catalysts for the reduction of carbon dioxide. Catalysis Today, 280(Part 1), 65-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cattod.2016.06.002