Active learning with non-ab initio input features toward efficient CO2 reduction catalysts

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In a conventional chemisorption model, the d-band center theory (augmented sometimes with the upper edge of the d-band for improved accuracy) plays a central role in predicting adsorption energies and catalytic activity as a function of the d-band center of solid surfaces, but it requires density functional calculations that can be quite costly for the purposes of large scale screening of materials. In this work, we propose to use the d-band width of the muffin-tin orbital theory (to account for the local coordination environment) plus electronegativity (to account for adsorbate renormalization) as a simple set of alternative descriptors for chemisorption which do not require ab initio calculations for large-scale first-hand screening. This pair of descriptors is then combined with machine learning methods, namely, neural network (NN) and kernel ridge regression (KRR). We show, for a toy set of 263 alloy systems, that the CO adsorption energy on the (100) facet can be predicted with a mean absolute deviation error of 0.05 eV. We achieved this high accuracy by utilizing an active learning algorithm, without which the accuracy was 0.18 eV. In addition, the results of testing the method with other facets such as (111) terrace and (211) step sites suggest that the present model is also capable of handling different coordination environments effectively. As an example of the practical application of this machine, we identified Cu3Y@Cu* as an active and cost-effective electrochemical CO2 reduction catalyst to produce CO with an overpotential similar to 1 V lower than a Au catalyst.
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CHEMICAL SCIENCE, v.9, no.23, pp.5152 - 5159

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EEW-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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