The effect of the alkali-metal cation (Li+, Na+, K+, and Cs+) on the non-Nernstian pH shift of the Pt(554) and Pt(533) step-associated voltammetric peak is elucidated over a wide pH window (1-13), through computation and experiment. In conjunction with our previously reported study on Pt(553), the non-Nernstian pH shift of the step-induced peak is found to be independent of the step density and the step orientation. In our prior work, we explained the sharp peak as due to the exchange between adsorbed hydrogen and hydroxyl along the step and the non-Nernstian shift as a result of the adsorption of an alkali-metal cation and its subsequent weakening of hydroxyl adsorption. Our density functional theory results support this same mechanism on Pt(533) and capture the effect of alkali-metal cation identity and alkali cation coverage well, where increasing electrolyte pH and cation concentration leads to increased cation coverage and a greater weakening effect on hydroxide adsorption. This work paints a consistent picture for the mechanism of these effects, expanding our fundamental understanding of the electrode/electrolyte interface and practical ability to control hydrogen and hydroxyl adsorption thermodynamics via the electrolyte composition, important for improving fuel cell and electrolyzer performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films