Surface-Enriched Room-Temperature Liquid Bismuth for Catalytic CO2 Reduction

Jining Guo, Xing Zhi, Dingqi Wang, Longbing Qu, Ali Zavabeti, Qining Fan, Yuecheng Zhang, Joshua D. Butson, Jianing Yang, Chao Wu, Jefferson Zhe Liu, Guoping Hu, Xiaolei Fan, Gang Kevin Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Bismuth-based electrocatalysts are effective for carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction to formate. However, at room temperature, these materials are only available in solid state, which inevitably suffers from surface deactivation, declining current densities, and Faradaic efficiencies. Here, the formation of a liquid bismuth catalyst on the liquid gallium surface at ambient conditions is shown as its exceptional performance in the electrochemical reduction of CO2 (i.e., CO2RR). By doping a trace amount of bismuth (740 ppm atomic) in gallium liquid metal, a surface enrichment of bismuth by over 400 times (30 at%) in liquid state is obtained without atomic aggregation, achieving 98% Faradic efficiency for CO2 conversion to formate over 80 h. Ab initio molecular simulations and density functional theory calculations reveal that bismuth atoms in the liquid state are the most energetically favorable sites for the CO2RR intermediates, superior to solid Bi-sites, as well as joint GaBi-sites. This study opens an avenue for fabricating high-performing liquid-state metallic catalysts that cannot be reached by elementary metals under electrocatalytic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • bismuth
  • CO reduction
  • density functional calculations
  • electrocatalyst
  • liquid Metal
  • metal–metal interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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