Issue 10, 2008

Surface characterization of platinum electrodes


The quantitative analysis of the different surface sites on platinum samples is attempted from pure voltammetric data. This analysis requires independent knowledge of the fraction of two-dimensional (111) and (100) domains. Specific site-probe reactions are employed to achieve this goal. Irreversibly-adsorbed bismuth and tellurium have been revealed to be sensitive to the presence of (111) terrace domains of different width whereas almost all sites involved in (100) ordered domains have been characterized through germanium adatoms. The experimental protocol follows that used with well-defined single-crystal electrodes and, therefore, requires careful control of the surface cleanliness. Platinum basal planes and their vicinal stepped surfaces have been employed to obtain calibration plots between the charge density measured under the adatom redox peak, specific for the type of surface site, and the corresponding terrace size. The evaluation of the (100) bidimensional domains can also be achieved using the voltammetric profiles, once the fraction of (111) ordered domains present in the polyoriented platinum has been determined and their featureless contribution has been subtracted from the whole voltammetric response. Using that curve, it is possible to perform a deconvolution of the adsorption states of the polycrystalline sample different from those related to (111) domains. The fraction of (100)-related states in the deconvoluted voltammogram can then be compared to that expected from the independent estimation coming from the charge involved in the redox process undergone by the irreversibly-adsorbed germanium and thus check the result of the deconvolution. The information about the surface-site distribution can also be applied to analyze the voltammetric profile of nanocrystalline platinum electrodes.

Graphical abstract: Surface characterization of platinum electrodes

Article information

Article type
27 Jun 2007
25 Sep 2007
First published
25 Oct 2007

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008,10, 1359-1373

Surface characterization of platinum electrodes

J. Solla-Gullón, P. Rodríguez, E. Herrero, A. Aldaz and J. M. Feliu, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008, 10, 1359 DOI: 10.1039/B709809J

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