Electro-reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) is a promising way to curb the excessive CO2 emission and produce value-added products. Gold-copper (AuCu) alloys are known to exhibit eminent CO production performance towards CO2ER. However, it still remains a grand challenge to balance *COOH and *CO bonding and to further descend CO onset potential. This paper describes the construction of Cu vacancies at an abrupt surface over a dealloyed AuCu catalyst to effectively decrease the overpotential and increase CO faradaic efficiency. Dealloyed Au3Cu exhibited a 90.2% CO faradaic efficiency at -0.38 V vs. RHE and a 418.60 A/g CO mass current density at -0.8 V. vs RHE, achieving the record for CO production among AuCu catalysts. Combined with experimental and theoretical results, we concluded that the improved performance primarily results from the enhanced *COOH absorption.
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ACS Energy Lett. 2018, in press, DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b01286