Structure and electrochemical stability of Pt-enriched Ni/Pt(111) topmost surface prepared by molecular beam epitaxy

Naoto Todoroki, Yuki Iijima, Ryota Takahashi, Yu Asakimori, Toshimasa Wadayama

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28 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the atomic-scale structure and electrochemical stability of a Pt-enriched topmost surface (Pt-enriched Ni/Pt(111)) prepared through monolayer Ni deposition on Pt(111) at 823 K using molecular beam epitaxy. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction patterns and an ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopic (UHV-STM) image of the Pt-enriched Ni/Pt(111) surface showed that the surface has long-range-ordered six-fold symmetry with atomic-scale corrugations. Although the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of the as-prepared Pt-enriched surface was eight times higher than that of clean Pt(111), the ORR activity degraded steeply during potential cycles between 0.6 and 1.0 V in O2-saturated 0.1 M HClO4. After 1000 potential cycles, the enhancement factor was estimated to be 2. An STM image collected after the potential cycles showed island-like structures (ca. 5-9 nm in diameter and 0.4-0.8 nm in height). Furthermore, the intensity of the Ni 2p core-level band for the as-prepared sample decreased after the 1000 potential cycles, revealing dissolution of the Ni atoms located at the subsurface layer. This experimental study clearly demonstrates that the underlying-Ni-induced specific surface strains and electronic state of the Pt-enriched topmost surface sorely contribute to the remarkable ORR activity of the Ni/Pt(111) surface.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 24

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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