The reason why platinum-based electrocatalysts "lost" platinum has been found

Recently, the reporter learned from the University of Science and Technology of China that the research group of Professor Yanxia Chen from the Hefei National Research Center for Microscale Material Science and collaborators directly observed the platinum surface cavities and their dynamic behavior in an electrochemical environment for the first time. The formation mechanism provides direct evidence. The research results have been published in "Chemistry-Communication" a few days ago.

Platinum is a natural precious metal, commonly known as platinum. In many electrode reactions, platinum can become an electrocatalyst with high activity and good stability. But in the corrosive environment of electrocatalytic system (such as fuel cell) such as strong acid, strong alkali, high oxidation or strong reduction, platinum will also corrode and dissolve. In addition, the presence of strong adsorbates such as carbon monoxide or oxygen will also accelerate the corrosion and dissolution of platinum.

Understanding the corrosion and dissolution process of this type of electrocatalyst from the atomic and molecular scale is expected to provide specific guidance for the design and synthesis of platinum-based catalysts with high efficiency and high stability.

On the basis of previous studies, researchers found that after platinum is covered by a high dynamic apparent adsorption layer, clear surface platinum atom holes appear on the surface, that is, part of the platinum surface layer atoms escape from the crystal lattice. These holes work together with the high-mobility carbon monoxide adsorbed on the surface to switch between the two dynamic states of moving and fixing at a certain rate. In the mobile state, platinum also has a small amount of surface holes.

This study shows that platinum can interact with adsorbed carbon monoxide in a complex manner, which provides an important basis for the rational design and synthesis of high-efficiency, high-stability and practical platinum-based catalysts. (Reporter Wu Changfeng)

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