Journal or Book Title
For small Pt nanoparticles (NPs), catalytic activity is, as observed, adversely affected by size in the 1–3 nm range. We elucidate, via first-principles-based thermodynamics, the operation H* distribution and cyclic voltammetry (CV) during the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) across the electrochemical potential, including the underpotential region (U ≤ 0) that is difficult to assess in experiment. We consider multiple adsorption sites on a 1 nm Pt NP model and show that the characteristic CV peaks from different H* species correspond well to experiment. We next quantify the activity contribution from each H* species to explain the adverse effect of size. From the resolved CV peaks at the standard hydrogen electrode potential (U = 0), we first deduce that the active species for the HER are the partially covered (100)-facet bridge sites and the (111)-facet hollow sites. Upon evaluation of the reaction barriers at operation H* distribution and microkinetic modeling of the exchange current, we find that the nearest-neighbor (100)-facet bridge site pairs have the lowest activation energy and contribute to ∼75% of the NP activity. Edge bridge sites (fully covered by H*) per se are not active; however, they react with neighboring (100)-facet H* to account for ∼18% of the activity, whereas (111)-facet hollow sites contribute little. Extrapolating the relative contributions to larger NPs in which the ratio of facet-to-edge sites increases, we show that the adverse size effect of Pt NP HER activity kicks in for sizes below 2 nm.
American Chemical Society
Tan, Teck L.; Wang, Lin-Lin; Zhang, Jia; Johnson, Duane D.; and Bai, Kewu, "Platinum Nanoparticle During Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution: Adsorbate Distribution, Active Reaction Species, and Size Effect" (2015). Ames Laboratory Publications. 267.