Topics in Catalysis

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 399–407 | Cite as

In situ imaging of electrode processes on solid electrolytes by photoelectron microscopy and microspectroscopy – the role of the three-phase boundary

  • J. Janek
  • B. Luerßen
  • E. Mutoro
  • H. Fischer
  • Sebastian Günther

The electrochemical polarisation of metal catalyst films on solid electrolyte substrates can basically lead to three different effects: (a) the generation of mobile surface species (spillover) which spread over the catalyst surface and modify the catalytic activity, (b) potential-controlled segregation of impurities in the catalyst and (c) potential-dependent surface energy (electrocapillarity). The generation of spillover species occurs at the three-phase boundary between metal, solid electrolyte and gas phase and is highly localized. The spreading occurs via diffusion and leads to time-dependent and inhomogeneous surface concentrations. The kinetics of the spillover process can only be observed with in situ surface-analytical techniques in combination with electrochemical methods which offer sufficient resolution in space and time. Model experiments with UV and X-ray photoelectron emission microscopy (PEEM and SPEM) are summarized and discussed with respect to their relevance for the better understanding of electrochemical promotion in catalysis.


spillover zirconia solid electrolyte platinum surface diffusion electrochemical promotion NEMCA 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Janek
    • 1
  • B. Luerßen
    • 1
  • E. Mutoro
    • 1
  • H. Fischer
    • 1
  • Sebastian Günther
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Physical ChemistryJustus-Liebig-UniversityGießenGermany
  2. 2.Department Chemie Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany

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