Chinese Journal of Catalysis ›› 2023, Vol. 52: 176-186.DOI: 10.1016/S1872-2067(23)64509-7

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Bidirectional host-guest interactions promote selective photocatalytic CO2 reduction coupled with alcohol oxidation in aqueous solution

Wen Zhanga,1, Cai-Cai Songa,1, Jia-Wei Wangb, Shu-Ting Caia, Meng-Yu Gaoa, You-Xiang Fenga, Tong-Bu Lua,*()   

  1. aMOE International Joint Laboratory of Materials Microstructure, Institute for New Energy Materials and Low Carbon Technologies, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Organic Solar Cells and Photochemical Conversion, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin 300384, China
    bKLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2023-05-17 Accepted:2023-08-13 Online:2023-09-18 Published:2023-09-25
  • Contact: *E-mail: (T.-B. Lu).
  • About author:1Contributed equally to this work.
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(21702146);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21790052);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21931007);National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFA0700104);111 Project of China(D17003);Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin(19JCQNJC05500)


Existing artificial photosynthesis systems often underperform due to challenges in water oxidation and extensive photogenerated carrier transfer. Herein, we demonstrate that β-cyclodextrin-decorated CdS nanocrystals (CdS-CD) can simultaneously anchor cobalt tetraphenyl porphyrin (CoTPP) catalysts and alcohol reductants onto CdS surfaces through bidirectional host-guest interactions between β-CD and CoTPP/alcohol. This configuration ensures swift electron transfer from CdS to β-CD bonded CoTPP, facilitating CO2 reduction to HCOOH. Results showcase a remarkable yield of 1610 μmol g-1 h-1 and a 96.5% selectivity. Meanwhile, photogenerated holes in CdS are efficiently neutralized by β-CD bonded furfuryl alcohol, achieving a furfural yield of 1567 μmol g-1 h-1 and > 99% selectivity. In contrast, the discrete CoTPP-CdS system achieved a HCOOH yield of only 306 μmol g-1 h-1 and a poor HCOOH selectivity of 46.4%. It was also observed that the CoTPP@CdS-CD system maintained high CO2-to-HCOOH conversion rates when using other alcohols as reductants.

Key words: Artificial photosynthesis, Host-guest interaction, CO2 reduction, Alcohol oxidation, Fast electron transfer