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Unifying Solution and Surface Electrochemistry: Limitations and Opportunities in Surface Electrocatalysis

Authors
  • Viswanathan, Venkatasubramanian1
  • Hansen, Heine Anton1
  • 1 Stanford University, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford, CA, 94305-3030, USA , Stanford (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Topics in Catalysis
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Oct 23, 2013
Volume
57
Issue
1-4
Pages
215–221
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11244-013-0171-6
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The electrochemical transformations involving small molecules could play a key role in energy storage and utilization. In this work, we develop a link between surface and solution electrochemistry and this is accomplished by relating the correlated binding of hydrogenated species on metal surfaces to their formation energy in solution. This link provides a semi-quantitative treatment of the thermodynamic landscape of multi-electron electrochemical reactions. Using this simple analysis, we identify some of the fundamental limits of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon electrochemistry. This analysis points to new avenues of electrocatalyst design and two such avenues are discussed in detail.

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