In situ surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic study of formic acid electrooxidation on spontaneously deposited platinum on gold.

TitleIn situ surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic study of formic acid electrooxidation on spontaneously deposited platinum on gold.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMuralidharan R, McIntosh M, Li X
JournalPhysical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
Volume15
Issue24
Pagination9716-25
Date Published2013 Jun 28
Abstract

Present formic acid fuel cell efficiency is limited by low kinetics at the anode, indicating the need for effective catalysts to improve the formic acid oxidation. As a prerequisite, the nature of adsorbed species and specifically the reaction intermediates formed in this process needs to be examined. This work focuses on the electrooxidation of formic acid and the nature of the intermediates at a platinum-modified gold surface prepared through spontaneous deposition using a combination of electrochemistry and in situ surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). This Pt-modified gold electrode surface assists in oxidizing formic acid at potentials as low as 0.0 V vs. Ag/AgCl which is 0.15 V more negative than a bare Pt surface. The oxidation current obtained on the Pt-modified gold electrode is 72 times higher than on a bare Au surface and 5 times higher than on a bare Pt surface at the same potential. In situ SERS has revealed the involvement of formate at a low frequency as the primary intermediate in this electrooxidation process. While previous studies mainly focused on the formate mode at ca. 1322 cm(-1), it is the first time that a formate peak at ca. 300 cm(-1) was observed on a Pt or Pt-associated surface. A unique relationship has been observed between the formic acid oxidation currents and the SERS intensity of this formate adsorbate. Furthermore, the characteristic Stark effect of the formate proves the strong interaction between the adsorbate and the catalyst. Both electrochemical and spectroscopic results suggest that the formic acid electrooxidation takes place by the dehydrogenation pathway involving a low frequency formate intermediate on the Pt-modified gold electrode catalyst.

DOI10.3389/fonc.2013.00183
Alternate JournalPhys Chem Chem Phys