Ordered carbonaceous frameworks: A strategy for tandem catalyst design


Unlocking the potential of metal-coordinated porphyrin-derived carbon for efficient CO2 conversion

Dr. Yoshii, the corresponding author of the study

Ordered carbonaceous frameworks (OCFs, i.e., carbonized metal-coordinated porphyrins) are well-defined, microporous structures with high specific surface areas, narrow pore-size distributions, and immobile, atomically dispersed metal species.

Because these unique properties can be tailored through molecular-precursor design, OCFs are also ideal platforms for exploring energy storage, conversion, and electrocatalysis applications1.

In a 2023 article, an AIMR team led by Hirotomo Nishihara and Takeharu Yoshii used this strategy to make a breakthrough in OCF research2. By selecting Co- and Cu-coordinated porphyrin precursors with otherwise identical molecular structures, the team successfully synthesized new OCFs including single-metal Co and Cu OCFs, as well as a bimetallic Co-Cu OCF.

“One important result was that our energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy elemental mapping and cyclic voltammetry measurements indicated the Co and Cu atoms in the bimetallic OCF were not only homogeneously dispersed, but they also exhibited synergetic effects,” says Yoshii.

Currently, the team is investigating how a single Co-Cu bimetallic OCF catalyst can sequentially convert CO2 to C2 compounds via CO.

“We know that immobilized single-atom Co catalysts excel at reducing CO2 to CO, while their Cu counterparts are great at converting CO to C2 compounds,” says Yoshii. “If we can use the synergetic effects of bimetallic OCFs to isolate an efficient tandem catalyst, the impact of this research will be significant for advancing CO2 conversion technologies and beyond.”

(Author: Patrick Han)


  1. Yoshii T., Chida K., Nishihara H. and Tani F. Ordered Carbonaceous Frameworks: A new class of carbon materials with molecular-level design Chemical Communications 58, 3758-3590 (2022). | article
  2. Chida K., Yoshii T., Hiyoshi N., Itoh T., Maruyama J., Kamiya K., Inoue M., Tani F. and Nishihara H. Bimetallic ordered carbonaceous frameworks from Co- and Cu-porphyrin bimolecular crystals Carbon 201, 338-346 (2023). | article

This research highlight has been approved by the authors of the original article and all information and data contained within has been provided by said authors.