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Volume 3 Issue 10, October 2020

Copper lifts itself up

Electrocatalysts for low-temperature fuel cells often consist of precious elements, e.g. platinum, which are expensive or not readily available. Now, Kunze-Liebhäuser et al. demonstrate the ability of Earth-abundant Cu to efficiently electro-oxidize CO, a central fuel cell intermediate, through continuous surface structure changes. Cu clusters reversibly form and show optimum binding to reaction intermediates, resembling the harpooning-type mechanism in gas–solid catalysis and drawing parallels between heterogeneous thermal catalysis and heterogeneous electrocatalysis.

See Kunze-Liebhäuser et al.

Image: Andrea Auer, University of Innsbruck.


  • We provide herein an overview of the present issue while introducing two new features that complement our submission and publication process.



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Research Highlights

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  • The electro- and photo-catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide are important processes in the context of developing a sustainable carbon-neutral economy. In this Review Article, the authors discuss how the local chemical environment in the proximity of the catalytic active site can influence the reactivity and selectivity of the processes and detail different approaches to achieve their modulation.

    • Andreas Wagner
    • Constantin D. Sahm
    • Erwin Reisner
    Review Article
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