Elucidating the alkaline oxygen evolution reaction mechanism on platinum
Understanding the interplay between surface chemistry, electronic structure, and reaction mechanism of the catalyst at the electrified solid/liquid interface will enable the design of more efficient materials systems for sustainable energy production. The substantial progress in operando characterization, particularly using synchrotron based X-ray spectroscopies, provides the unprecedented opportunity to uncover surface chemical and structural transformations under various (electro)chemical reaction environments. In this work, we study a polycrystalline platinum surface under oxygen evolution conditions in an alkaline electrolyte by means of ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy performed at the electrified solid/liquid interface. We elucidate previously inaccessible aspects of the surface chemistry and structure as a function of the applied potential, allowing us to propose a reaction mechanism for oxygen evolution on a platinum electrode in alkaline solutions.