Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Chemistry, PhD

Committee Chair

Zamborini, Francis

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Spurgeon, Joshua

Committee Member

Spurgeon, Joshua

Committee Member

Baldwin, Richard

Committee Member

Ramezanipour, Farshid

Author's Keywords

CO2 reduction; electrochemistry; NMR; photoelectrochemistry; solar fuels


It has become apparent that closing the carbon cycle on this planet in order to mitigate disastrous consequences of runaway global warming has become one of the most pressing issues of our civilization. One of the ways we need to accomplish this goal is by finding news methods to generate fuels that will be carbon neutral. Renewable fuels and green chemicals will be a major component of closing the carbon cycle and restoring our planet’s ecosystem into a sense of balance. A method that can help achieve this goal is the reduction of CO2. If CO2 can be a desirable reactant on a large enough scale to produce fuels and chemicals, many industries will greatly benefit from the implementation of CO2 reduction technologies. This would in turn make removing CO2 from the atmosphere a worthy and realistic endeavor while reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will help mitigate global warming. In the following dissertation, several methods are discussed that aid in the development of CO2 electroreduction. The goal of which is to improve the overall efficiency of current CO2 electroreduction technology. The first major effort assesses the contaminants emanating from the membrane component of the CO2 electroreduction vii device, alleviating the issue of spurious product detection. The second effort involves the tuning of product selectivity on oxide-derived copper catalyst by pulsing the bias. The third effort details the pursuit of a stand-alone “artificial leaf” technology for the reduction of carbon monoxide. The electrochemical investigations undertaken in this dissertation discuss in detail the metrics and principles used to accomplish these works.