Ethanol electro-oxidation on ternary platinum-rhodium-tin nanocatalysts: Insights in the atomic 3D structure of the active catalytic phase

Nina Erini, Rameshwori Loukrakpam, Valeri Petkov, Elena A. Baranova, Ruizhi Yang, Detre Teschner, Yunhui Huang, Stanko R. Brankovic, Peter Strasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Novel insights in the synthesis-structure-catalytic activity relationships of nanostructured trimetallic Pt-Rh-Sn electrocatalysts for the electrocatalytic oxidation of ethanol are reported. In particular, we identify a novel single-phase Rh-doped Pt-Sn Niggliite mineral phase as the source of catalytically active sites for ethanol oxidation; we discuss its morphology, composition, chemical surface state, and the detailed 3D atomic arrangement using high-energy (HE-XRD), atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The intrinsic ethanol oxidation activity of the active Niggliite phase exceeded those of earlier reports, lending support to the notion that the atomic-scale neighborhood of Pt, Rh, and Sn is conducive to the emergence of active surface catalytic sites under reaction conditions. In situ mechanistic Fourier transform infrared (in situ FTIR) analysis confirms an active 12 electron oxidation reaction channel to CO2 at electrode potentials as low as 450 mV/RHE, demonstrating the favorable efficiency of the PtRhSn Niggliite phase for C-C bond splitting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1867
Number of pages9
JournalACS Catalysis
Volume4
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 6 2014

Keywords

  • HE-XRD
  • PDF analysis
  • electrocatalysis
  • electrochemistry
  • ethanol oxidation reaction
  • fuel cells
  • in situ FTIR

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