"In situ X-ray probing reveals fingerprints of surface platinum oxide"

Daniel Friebel: Christopher P. O’Grady, Toyli Anniyev, John Bargar, Uwe Bergmann, Hirohito Ogasawara, Kjartan Thor Wikfeldt, Lars G. M. Pettersson, Anders Nilsson; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 11/09/10.

Additional Authors: Christopher P. O’Grady, Toyli Anniyev, John Bargar, Uwe Bergmann, Hirohito Ogasawara, Kjartan Thor Wikfeldt, Lars G. M. Pettersson, Anders Nilsson

Abstract:

In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at the Pt L(3) edge is a useful probe for Pt-O interactions at polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) cathodes. We show that XAS using the high energy resolution fluorescence detection (HERFD) mode, applied to a well-defined monolayer Pt/Rh(111) sample where the bulk penetrating hard X-rays probe only surface Pt atoms, provides a unique sensitivity to structure and chemical bonding at the Pt-electrolyte interface. Ab initio multiple-scattering calculations using the FEFF code and complementary extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) results indicate that the commonly observed large increase of the white-line at high electrochemical potentials on PEMFC cathodes originates from platinum oxide formation, whereas previously proposed chemisorbed oxygen-containing species merely give rise to subtle spectral changes.