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An NMR Investigation Of CO Tolerance In A Pt/Ru Fuel Cell Catalyst.

Y. Tong, H. S. Kim, P. K. Babu, P. Waszczuk, A. Wiȩckowski, E. Oldfield
Published 2002 · Chemistry, Medicine

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We report the first combined application of solid-state electrochemical NMR (EC NMR), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and potentiostatic current generation to investigate the topic of the ruthenium promotion of MeOH electro-oxidation over nanoscale platinum catalysts. The CV and EC NMR results give evidence for two types of CO: CO on essentially pure Pt and CO on Pt/Ru islands. There is no NMR evidence for rapid exchange between the two CO populations. CO molecules on the primarily Pt domains behave much like CO on pure Pt, with there being little effect of Ru on the Knight shift or on Korringa relaxation. In sharp contrast, COs on Pt/Ru have highly shifted (13)C NMR resonances, much weaker Korringa relaxation, and, at higher temperatures, they undergo thermally activated surface diffusion. For CO on Pt, the correlation observed between the 2pi* Fermi level local density of states and the steady-state current suggests a role for Ru in weakening the Pt-CO bond, thereby increasing the CO oxidation rate (current). The combined EC NMR/electrochemistry approach thus provides new insights into the promotion of CO tolerance in Pt/Ru fuel cell catalysts, in addition to providing a novel route to investigating promotion in heterogeneous catalysis in general.

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