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Reticular Electronic Tuning of Porphyrin Active Sites in Covalent Organic Frameworks for Electrocatalytic Carbon Dioxide Reduction


The electronic character of porphyrin active sites for electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to CO in a two-dimensional covalent organic framework (COF) was tuned by modification of the reticular structure. Efficient charge transport along the COF backbone promotes electronic connectivity between remote functional groups and the active sites and enables the modulation of the catalytic properties of the system. A series of oriented thin films of these COFs was found to reduce CO2 to CO at low overpotential (550 mV) with high selectivity (faradaic efficiency of 87%) and at high current densities (65 mA/mg), a performance well beyond related molecular catalysts in regard to selectivity and efficiency. The catalysts are stable for more than 12 h without any loss in reactivity. X-ray absorption measurements on the cobalt L-edge for the modified COFs enable correlations between the inductive effects of the appended functionality and the electronic character of the reticulated molecular active sites.

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