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Issue 27, 2014
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Mechanistic and kinetic implications on the ORR on a Au(100) electrode: pH, temperature and H–D kinetic isotope effects

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Abstract

pH, temperature and H–D kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) on the ORR on Au(100) have been examined systematically using a hanging meniscus rotating disk electrode system. We found that for the cases with pH > 7, the ORR mainly goes through a 4-electron reduction to OH at E > pzc (potential of zero charge) without any pH and H–D KIEs. When the pH at the electrode/electrolyte interface (pHs) is below 7, O2 only reduces to H2O2, its activity increases with pHs, and a H–D KIE of above 2 is observed in 0.1 M HClO4. According to the experimental results in acid solution, a mechanism with O2 + H+ + e → HO2,ad as the rate determining step followed by decoupled electron and proton transfer steps is proposed. The high activation barrier for O–O bond breaking and the fast oxidation of H2O2 or HO2 to O2 render the ORR observable only at potentials negative of the equilibrium potential (Eeq) of the redox of H2O2/O2 in acidic media or of HO2/O2 in an alkaline environment. The apparent activation energy (Ea,app) for O2 reduction to H2O2 is ca. 35 ± 3 kJ mol−1 and to OH is 60 ± 6 kJ mol−1, while the pre-exponential factor (A) for the former is ca. 3–6 orders of magnitude smaller than that of the latter. The lower activity for O2 reduction to H2O2 on Au(100) is attributed to the small pre-exponential factor.

Graphical abstract: Mechanistic and kinetic implications on the ORR on a Au(100) electrode: pH, temperature and H–D kinetic isotope effects

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jan 2014, accepted on 25 Mar 2014 and first published on 25 Mar 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP00257A
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014,16, 13762-13773
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    Mechanistic and kinetic implications on the ORR on a Au(100) electrode: pH, temperature and H–D kinetic isotope effects

    D. Mei, Z. D. He, Y. L. Zheng, D. C. Jiang and Y. Chen, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 13762
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CP00257A

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