Bioinspired electrocatalytic CO2 reduction by bovine serum albumin-capped silver nanoclusters mediated by [α-SiW12O40]4-

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Silver nanoclusters capped with bovine serum albumin (AgNC@BSA) were synthesized and applied for the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2. Inspired by the fact that many enzymes function only in the presence of coenzymes/cofactors that transfer electrons/protons or other groups, an electron transfer mediator was introduced to facilitate the electrical communication between the electrode and the strongly protected catalyst. The AgNC@BSA catalyst mediated by [α-SiW12O40]4- anions showed high electrocatalytic activity for CO2 reduction, which was not observed with either component on its own, in dimethylformamide containing 1 % (v/v) water. CO was the major product with excellent faradaic efficiency (>75 %). The onset potential for this catalytic CO2 reduction process is about 400mV more positive than that found at a bulk silver electrode. This mediator-enhanced catalysis concept provides a general approach to investigate the electrocatalytic activities of nanoclusters, which remain largely unexplored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016


  • carbon dioxide fixation
  • electrocatalysis
  • electron transfer
  • nanoclusters
  • polyoxometalates
  • silver

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