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Title: Dimethyl ether electro-oxidation on platinum surfaces

A first-principles density functional theory study was performed in this paper to elucidate the mechanism of dimethyl ether electro-oxidation on three low-index platinum surfaces (Pt(111), Pt(100), and Pt(211)). The goal of this study is to provide a fundamental explanation for the high activity observed experimentally on Pt(100) compared to Pt(111) and stepped surfaces. We determine that the enhanced activity of Pt(100) stems from more facile C–O bond breaking kinetics, as well as from easier removal of CO as a surface poison through activation of water. In general, the C–O bond (in CH xOCH y) becomes easier to break as dimethyl ether is dehydrogenated to a greater extent. In contrast, dehydrogenation becomes more difficult as more hydrogen atoms are removed. We perform two analyses of probable reaction pathways, which both identify CHOC and CO as the key reaction intermediates on these Pt surfaces. We show that the reaction mechanism on each surface is dependent on the cell operating potential, as increasing the potential facilitates C–H bond scission, in turn promoting the formation of intermediates for which C–O scission is more facile. We additionally demonstrate that CO oxidation determines the high overpotential required for electro-oxidation on Pt surfaces. Finally, at practical operatingmore » potentials (~0.60 V RHE), we determine that C–O bond breaking is most likely the most difficult step on all three Pt surfaces studied.« less
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  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-05ER15731; AC02-06CH11357; AC02-05CH11231
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nano Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 29; Journal ID: ISSN 2211-2855
Research Org:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; dimethyl ether; transition metals; fuel cell; structure sensitivity; density functional theory
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1397344