Identification of dual-active sites in cobalt phthalocyanine for electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction

Yujian Xia, Stepan Kashtanov, Pengfei Yu, Lo Yueh Chang, Kun Feng, Jun Zhong, Jinghua Guo, Xuhui Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPc) as a typical transition metal complex catalyst for electrochemical CO2 reduction is able to produce CO with high selectivity and activity. However, the reaction mechanism remain unclear because of the ambiguity in catalytic active sites between Co center atom and Pc ligand. Herein, synchrotron-based X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) were employed to elucidate the catalytic active site evolution during the reaction process. We found that the electrochemical reduction reaction of CO2 on CoPc follows a dual-active sites process. The CO2 molecule is initially protonated on the N atom site of Pc ligand forming *COOH intermediate and then is further reduced to *CO at the center Co site.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104163
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Catalysis
  • Cobalt phthalocyanine
  • Dual active site
  • Electrochemical CO reduction reaction

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