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By means of surface-science experiments, electrochemical tests and density functional theory, we unveil the mechanisms ruling the catalytic activity of PtSn 4. Specifically, through an investigation of the surface chemical reactivity toward CO, H 2 O, and O 2 molecules at room temperature and, moreover, of surface stability in air, we show that the catalytic activity of PtSn 4 is determined by the atomic tin layer constituting its surface termination. The PtSn 4 surface is not affected by CO poisoning, although it evolves into a tin-oxide skin in the ambient atmosphere. We demonstrate that the hydrogen evolution reaction on PtSn 4 can be modelled by the combination of two steps, ie Volmer and Tafel reactions. Surprisingly, surface oxidation induces a reduction of the energy barrier for the Tafel reaction, so that oxidized PtSn 4 behaves similarly to Pt (111), in spite of the reduced amount of Pt in the alloy and without available …
Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication date: 
1 Jan 2020

Danil W Boukhvalov, Andrea Marchionni, Jonathan Filippi, Chia Nung Kuo, Jun Fujii, Raju Edla, Silvia Nappini, Gianluca D'Olimpio, Luca Ottaviano, Chin Shan Lue, Piero Torelli, Francesco Vizza, Antonio Politano

Biblio References: 
Volume: 8 Issue: 5 Pages: 2349-2355
Journal of Materials Chemistry A