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Formic Acid Electrooxidation on Pt or Pd Monolayer on Transition-Metal Single Crystals: A First-Principles Structure Sensitivity Analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 19.04.2021, 09:13 authored by Ahmed O. Elnabawy, Jeffrey A. Herron, Zhixiu Liang, Radoslav R. Adzic, Manos Mavrikakis
We present a density functional theory analysis of trends for the electrooxidation of formic acid (FAO) on a single Pt or Pd monolayer supported on the close-packed (111) facet of transition metals (Pt*/M or Pd*/M): Au, Ag, Cu, Pt, Pd, Ir, and Rh, the close-packed (0001) facet of Os, Ru, and Re, and the open (100) facet of Au, Ag, Pt, Pd, Ir, and Rh. We show that the deposition of Pt or Pd pseudomorphic monolayers on these single crystals modifies the electronic structure of the Pt or Pd monolayer. Specifically, we found a direct correlation between the d-band center of the Pt and Pd monolayer and the free energy of adsorbed CO*, the latter being a reactivity descriptor for FAO. Together with the free energy of adsorbed OH* as a second reactivity descriptor, we depict the thermochemistry of the reaction network as phase diagrams showing calculated free energies across regions of rate-determining steps. We found that FAO is structure-sensitive on most surfaces studied. Pt*/Au(111) is predicted to be the most active among all Pt*/M­(111/0001) surfaces studied, despite binding CO*, the strongest among the close-packed facets. This is the case because of its superiority in activating water to OH*, thus removing CO* at lower potentials than other surfaces. On similar grounds, Pt*/Pd(100), Pd*/Re(0001), Pd*/Au(111), Pd*/Ag(111), and Pd*/Pt(111) are predicted to show higher FAO activity than the corresponding monometallic Pt and Pd surfaces.