García-Aráez, Nuria, Climent, Víctor and Feliu, Juan M.
Evidence of water reorientation on model electrocatalytic surfaces from nanosecond-laser-pulsed experiments
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130, (12), . (doi:10.1021/ja0761481).
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The behavior of water at the interface formed between a quasi-perfect Pt(111) single-crystal electrode and an aqueous electrolyte solution is studied by means of the laser-induced temperature jump method. This method is based on the use of nanosecond laser pulses to suddenly increase the temperature at the interface. The measurement of the response of the interface toward the laser heating under coulostatic conditions provides evidence on the net orientation of water at the interface. Especially interesting is the study of the effect on the interfacial water caused by the selective deposition of foreign metal adatoms, because these bimetallic systems usually exhibit appealing electrocatalytic properties. The T-jump methodology shows that the surface composition strongly affects the interaction of water with the surface. The most representative parameter to characterize this interaction is the potential where water reorientation occurs; this potential shifts in different directions, depending on the relative values of the electronegativity of the adatom and the substrate. These results are discussed in the light of available information about the effect of adatom deposition on the work function and the surface potential of the modified surface. Finally, some implications on the enhancement of the electrocatalytic activity are briefly discussed.
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