A New Pathway for CO2Reduction Relying on the Self-Activation Mechanism of Boron-Doped Diamond Cathode

Jinglun Du, Andrea Fiorani, Taichi Inagaki, Atsushi Otake, Michio Murata, Miho Hatanaka, Yasuaki Einaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


By means of an initial electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction reaction (eCO2RR), both the reaction current and Faradaic efficiency of the eCO2RR on boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes were significantly improved. Here, this effect is referred to as the self-activation of BDD. Generally, the generation of carbon dioxide radical anions (CO2•-) is the most recognized pathway leading to the formation of hydrocarbons and oxygenated products. However, the self-activation process enabled the eCO2RR to take place at a low potential, that is, a low energy, where CO2•- is hardly produced. In this work, we found that unidentate carbonate and carboxylic groups were identified as intermediates during self-activation. Increasing the amount of these intermediates via the self-activation process enhances the performance of eCO2RR. We further evaluated this effect in long-term experiments using a CO2 electrolyzer for formic acid production and found that the electrical-to-chemical energy conversion efficiency reached 50.2% after the BDD self-activation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1382
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 27


  • COreduction
  • boron-doped diamond
  • energy conversion efficiency
  • intermediates
  • self-activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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