Nature communications

Correlating hydrogen oxidation and evolution activity on platinum at different pH with measured hydrogen binding energy.

PMID 25569511


The hydrogen oxidation/evolution reactions are two of the most fundamental reactions in distributed renewable electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems. The identification of the reaction descriptor is therefore of critical importance for the rational catalyst design and development. Here we report the correlation between hydrogen oxidation/evolution activity and experimentally measured hydrogen binding energy for polycrystalline platinum examined in several buffer solutions in a wide range of electrolyte pH from 0 to 13. The hydrogen oxidation/evolution activity obtained using the rotating disk electrode method is found to decrease with the pH, while the hydrogen binding energy, obtained from cyclic voltammograms, linearly increases with the pH. Correlating the hydrogen oxidation/evolution activity to the hydrogen binding energy renders a monotonic decreasing hydrogen oxidation/evolution activity with the hydrogen binding energy, strongly supporting the hypothesis that hydrogen binding energy is the sole reaction descriptor for the hydrogen oxidation/evolution activity on monometallic platinum.