Research Update: January 2016


In a recent article published in Science Advances, we revealed a universal correlation between HOR/HER activity and underpotential deposited hydrogen (Hupd) desorption peak potential Epeak or hydrogen binding energy (HBE) for four supported platinum-group-metal catalysts (Pt/C, Ir/C, Pd/C and Rh/C) over a broad pH range (0-13), indicating that the HBE is the dominant descriptor for HOR/HER activities. The results were covered by


Matt’s article in ACS Catalysis reviews the mechanisms and applications of catalytic transfer hydrogenation in heterogeneously catalyzed biomass upgrade processes.

graphical abstract

Marco’s recent work investigates the behavior of water at the water-Au interface as a function of potential in acid, neutral, and alkaline electrolytes using attenuated total reflectance surface enhanced infrared spectroscopy. In acid, sharp νOH peaks appear at 3583 cm-1 at high potentials attributed to non-H-bonded water coadsorbed in the hydration sphere of perchlorate near the electrode surface, as shown previously in the literature. An adsorbed hydronium bending mode at near 1680 cm-1 is observed at low potentials in low pH solutions (1.4, 4.0, 6.8). At high pH (10.0, 12.3), a potential-dependent OH stretching band assigned to adsorbed hydroxide emerges from 3400-3506 cm-1. The observation of adsorbed hydroxide, even on a weakly oxophilic metal such as Au, provides the framework for further studies of hydroxide adsorption on other electrodes to determine the role of adsorbed hydroxide on important reactions such as the hydrogen oxidation reaction.

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