We report here a study, using cyclic voltammetry and FTIRS, of NO irreversibly adsorbed on a cyanide-modified Pt(111) electrode. NO adlayers were formed by immersion of the cyanide-modified Pt(111) electrode in an acidic solution of KNO2. The behaviour of NO adsorbed on the cyanide-modified electrode is very similar to that of NO on the clean Pt(111) surface, suggesting that adsorbed cyanide (saturation coverage θCN = 0.5) behaves simply as a third body, blocking some of the surface sites but leaving the free Pt sites unaffected. Comparison of the voltammetric profile for NO electroreduction on Pt(111) and on cyanide-modified Pt(111) electrodes has allowed us: (i) to confirm that the reduction of three-fold hollow NO and atop NO on Pt(111) electrodes occurs in two distinct reduction peaks, as previously proposed by Rosca et al. (Langmuir, 2005, 21, 1448); (ii) to suggest that the reduction of irreversibly adsorbed NO layers on Pt electrodes can proceed through two possible paths, one involving an EE mechanism in which the rate-determining step (rds) is an Eley–Rideal reaction, with a direct proton transfer from the solution to adsorbed NO, and the other involving an EC mechanism in which the rds is a Langmuir–Hinshelwood reaction of adsorbed NO with adsorbed H. The availability of adsorbed hydrogen determines which path is followed by the reaction; (iii) to identify the smallest atomic ensemble for the reduction of NO on Pt as being composed of two adjacent Pt atoms.
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