A cuboctahedral platinum (Pt79) nanocluster enclosed by well defined facets favours di-sigma adsorption and improves the reaction kinetics for methanol fuel cells†
The methanol dehydrogenation steps are studied very systematically on the (111) facet of a cuboctahedral platinum (Pt79) nanocluster enclosed by well-defined facets. The various intermediates formed during the methanol decompositions are adsorbed at the edge and bridge site of the facet either vertically (through C- and O-centres) or in parallel. The di-sigma adsorption (in parallel) on the (111) facet of the nanocluster is the most stable structure for most of the intermediates and such binding improves the interaction between the substrate and the nanocluster and thus the catalytic activity. The reaction thermodynamics, activation barrier, and temperature dependent reaction rates are calculated for all the successive methanol dehydrogenation steps to understand the methanol decomposition mechanism, and these values are compared with previous studies to understand the catalytic activity of the nanocluster. We find the catalytic activity of the nanocluster is excellent while comparing with any previous reports and the methanol dehydrogenation thermodynamics and kinetics are best when the intermediates are adsorbed in a di-sigma manner.