Enhancing the Activity and Tuning the Mechanism of Formic acid Oxidation at Tetrahexahedral Pt Nanocrystals by Au Decoration

H X Liu, Na Tian, Michael Brandon, J. Pei, Zhi-Chao Huangfu, Chi Zhan, Z.Y. Zhou, Christopher Hardacre, Wenfeng Lin, S.G. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
318 Downloads (Pure)


Tetrahexahedral Pt nanocrystals (THH Pt NCs), bound by high index facets, belong to an emerging class of nanomaterials that promise to bridge the gap between model and practical electrocatalysts. The atomically stepped surfaces of THH Pt NCs are extremely active for the electrooxidation of small organic molecules but they also readily accommodate the dissociative chemisorption of such species, resulting in poisoning by strongly adsorbed CO. Formic acid oxidation is an ideal reaction for studying the balance between these competing catalyst characteristics, since it can proceed by either a direct or a CO mediated pathway. Herein, we describe electrochemical and in situ FTIR spectroscopic investigations of formic acid electrooxidation at both clean and Au adatom modified THH Pt NC surfaces. The Au decoration leads to higher catalytic currents and enhanced CO2 production in the low potential range. As the CO oxidation behaviour of the catalyst is not changed by the presence of the Au, it is likely that the role of the Au is to promote the direct pathway. Beyond their fundamental importance, these results are significant in the development of stable, poison resistant anodic electrocatalysts for direct formic acid fuel cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16415-16423
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number47
Early online date18 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2012


  • Nanocatalysis, in-situ FTIR, fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing the Activity and Tuning the Mechanism of Formic acid Oxidation at Tetrahexahedral Pt Nanocrystals by Au Decoration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this