Operando X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Studies of Aqueous Electrocatalytic Systems
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Development of efficient fuel cell and electrochemical cell devices to retrieve energy in a renewable manner lies in the molecular level understanding of the conversion processes taking place at surfaces and interfaces. These processes involve complicated bond breaking and formation at the surfaces as well as charge transfer through interfaces which are challenging to track under operational conditions. We address the nature of these interfacial processes using ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy by leveraging both its chemical and surface sensitivity. Herein, we give several examples of fuel cell and electrolysis reactions to demonstrate the importance of probing the surface under operating conditions. Oxygen reduction reaction taking place on the platinum cathode in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, water splitting reactions including oxygen evolution reaction over IrO2 and hydrogen evolution reaction over MoSx reveal that different species dominate on the surface under different operational conditions and surface activities are directly related to the stabilities of those intermediate species and possible structural rearrangements of the catalyst material.
KeywordsOperando spectroscopy Electrochemistry X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy Fuel cell Electrolysis
We gratefully acknowledge all the people involved in the various projects on which this contribution is based. In particular we like to highlight Hernan G. Sanchez Casalongue unique contribution to this project. This material is based upon work performed by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, as follows: the experimental work was supported by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis award no. DE-SC0004993. H.O. gratefully acknowledges the support from Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Portions of this research were carried out at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a division of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and an Office of Science user facility operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy.
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