Evidence for interfacial geometric interactions at metal–support interfaces and their influence on the electroactivity and stability of Pt nanoparticles†
Supported metals are widely used as industrial catalysts wherein the supports affect catalytic performances remarkably through either electronic and/or geometric interactions with the metals, and/or providing interfacial synergistic sites. Herein, we observed evidence for interfacial geometric interactions (IGIs) at Pt–C interfaces through a combination of atomic-scale structural analysis, in situ X-ray absorption fine structure, and electrochemical measurements for Pt/C model systems. The IGI has a long-range attribute and affects Pt surface atoms not only at interfacial perimeters but also adjacent to interfaces. The affected Pt surface atoms are proposed to contribute enhanced activity and stability for the oxygen reduction reaction through retarding the formation of strongly adsorbed oxygenated intermediates. Our work provides some necessary information for a better understanding of support effects and catalytically active surface sites.