From single crystal surfaces to single atoms : investigating active sites in electrocatalysis

O'Mullane, Anthony P. (2014) From single crystal surfaces to single atoms : investigating active sites in electrocatalysis. Nanoscale, 6, pp. 4012-4026.

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Electrocatalytic processes will undoubtedly be at the heart of energising future transportation and technology with the added importance of being able to create the necessary fuels required to do so in an environmentally friendly and cost effective manner. For this to be successful two almost mutually exclusive surface properties need to be reconciled, namely producing highly active/reactive surface sites that exhibit long term stability. This article reviews the various approaches which have been undertaken to study the elusive nature of these active sites on metal surfaces which are considered as adatoms or clusters of adatoms with low coordination number. This includes the pioneering studies at extended well defined stepped single crystal surfaces using cyclic voltammetry up to the highly sophisticated in situ electrochemical imaging techniques used to study chemically synthesised nanomaterials. By combining the information attained from single crystal surfaces, individual nanoparticles of defined size and shape, density functional theory calculations and new concepts such as mesoporous multimetallic thin films and single atom electrocatalysts new insights into the design and fabrication of materials with highly active but stable active sites can be achieved. The area of electrocatalysis is therefore not only a fascinating and exciting field in terms of realistic technological and economical benefits but also from the fundamental understanding that can be acquired by studying such an array of interesting materials.

Impact and interest:

19 citations in Scopus
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21 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 67884
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Electrocatalysis, Active sites, Single crystal surfaces, Nanoparticles, Electrochemistry
DOI: 10.1039/C4NR00419A
ISSN: 2040-3372
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > MACROMOLECULAR AND MATERIALS CHEMISTRY (030300) > Physical Chemistry of Materials (030304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (INCL. STRUCTURAL) (030600) > Electrochemistry (030604)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
  • AOARD/FA2386-13-1-4073
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2014 05:08
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2015 04:45

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