Topics in Current Chemistry

, 377:5 | Cite as

Determination of Specific Electrocatalytic Sites in the Oxidation of Small Molecules on Crystalline Metal Surfaces

  • Manuel J. S. Farias
  • Juan M. FeliuEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Electrocatalysis


The identification of active sites in electrocatalytic reactions is part of the elucidation of mechanisms of catalyzed reactions on solid surfaces. However, this is not an easy task, even for apparently simple reactions, as we sometimes think the oxidation of adsorbed CO is. For surfaces consisting of non-equivalent sites, the recognition of specific active sites must consider the influence that facets, as is the steps/defect on the surface of the catalyst, cause in its neighbors; one has to consider the electrochemical environment under which the “active sites” lie on the surface, meaning that defects/steps on the surface do not partake in chemistry by themselves. In this paper, we outline the recent efforts in understanding the close relationships between site-specific and the overall rate and/or selectivity of electrocatalytic reactions. We analyze hydrogen adsorption/desorption, and electro-oxidation of CO, methanol, and ammonia. The classical topic of asymmetric electrocatalysis on kinked surfaces is also addressed for glucose electro-oxidation. The article takes into account selected existing data combined with our original works.


Electrocatalysis Single crystal surfaces Active sites Structure sensitivity Asymmetric electrocatalysis 



M.J.S.F. is grateful to PNPD/CAPES (Brazil). J.M.F. thanks the MCINN (FEDER, Spain) project-CTQ-2016-76221-P.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do MaranhãoSão LuísBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de ElectroquímicaUniversidad de Alicante Ap. 99AlicanteSpain

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