First-principles study of formation of Se submonolayer structures on Ru surfaces
Abbreviated Journal Title
Phys. Rev. B
OXYGEN REDUCTION REACTION; FUEL-CELLS; NANOPARTICLES; ELECTROCATALYSTS; DIFFUSION; CATALYSTS; CATHODE; METALS; Physics, Condensed Matter
The Ru nanoparticles with Se submonolayer coverage (Se/Ru) demonstrate high electrocatalytic activity toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on cathodes of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. To understand the mechanisms of formation of Se structures on Ru surfaces, the geometric and electronic structures and energetics have been calculated in the present work for various distributions of Se atoms on the Ru (0001) surface and in the vicinity of the edge between the (0001) and (1101) facets. The calculations were performed within the density-functional theory with plane-wave expansion for wave functions and the projector augmented wave potentials. It has been found that due to electronic charge transfer from Ru to Se upon selenium adsorption, Se atoms become negatively charged and repel each other. This repulsion makes compact Se islands on Ru (0001) unstable. Se atoms prefer to separate from each other by the distance of similar to 5.47 angstrom or larger, which is possible for all Se adsorbates if coverage is not exceeding 1/3 ML. Further increase in Se coverage weakens Se-Ru bonding. Three-dimensional Se structure such as 4- and 11-atom pyramids are found to decompose spontaneously with scattering of Se atoms over the Ru (0001) surface. The Se adsorbates are also found to repel in the vicinity of the edge between the Ru facets, and a small increase in Se bonding to undercoordinated Ru atom does not change the trend of Se adsorbates to separate from each other. The obtained most stable configurations of Se on Ru with 1/3 ML coverage or less may also be optimal for ORR because they provide Ru sites available for O and OH adsorption.
Physical Review B
"First-principles study of formation of Se submonolayer structures on Ru surfaces" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 829.