Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 10:35 AM
251C (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Fundamental understanding of the active sites mediating hydrogen oxidation/evolution reaction (HOR/HER) is critical to the design of an efficient HOR/HER electrocatalyst for affordable hydrogen exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers. We identified the existence of the most active sites on carbon supported iridium nanoparticles (Ir/C) for HOR/HER in alkaline electrolyte by investigating activities of Ir/C with varying particle sizes in the range of 3 – 12 nm. The distribution of surface sites is quantified by deconvoluting the Hupd desorption peak in cyclic voltammograms. The portion of the sites with the lowest hydrogen binding energy (HBE) increases with the increase of the particle size or the decrease of the total electrochemical active surface area (t-ECSA). The HOR/HER activity normalized to t-ECSA decreases as t-ECSA increases while remains constant when normalized to the surface area of the sites with low HBE, indicating that those minority sites are likely the true active sites.