Bin Liu received his bachelor of engineering (1st Class Honours) and master of engineering degrees at the National University of Singapore, Singapore in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and completed his doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota, USA in 2011. After spending a year as postdoctoral fellow in the University of California Berkeley, USA, he joined School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University as an Assistant Professor in June 2012 and was promoted to Associate Professor in March 2017. In February 2023, Professor Liu joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at City University of Hong Kong as a Professor. His research focuses on photo(electro)catalysis and in-situ/operando characterization. Professor Liu was awarded emerging investigator by Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016, class of influential researchers by Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, American Chemical Society in 2018, and listed in the “Highly Cited Researchers” in Cross-Field in 2019 and Chemistry in 2020-2022 by Clarivate Analytics.
Noble-metal and transition-metal based materials have been demonstrated as promising catalysts for selective electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR), however, neither the detailed structures of catalytic intermediates nor the key surface species have been unambiguously identified. In this work, a series of single transition-metal atom catalysts with well-defined structures were developed as model systems to explore the electrochemical CO2RR chemistry. Employing a combination of operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy, attenuated total reflectance surface enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and Mössbauer spectroscopy, we successfully captured the dynamic evolution of the catalytic centers during the CO2RR process.