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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.
- Nanocatalysis, in-situ FTIR, fuel cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Physics and Astronomy(all)