Interaction of CO with Gold in an Electrochemical Environment

Sudarshan Vijay, Thomas V. Hogg, Johan Ehlers, Henrik H. Kristoffersen, Yu Katayama, Yang Shao Horn, Ib Chorkendorff, Karen Chan*, Brian Seger*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present a joint theoretical-experimental study of CO coverage and facet selectivity on Au under electrochemical conditions. With in situ attenuated total reflection surface-enhanced IR spectroscopy, we investigate the CO binding in an electrochemical environment. At 0.2 V versus SHE, we detect a CO band that disappears upon facet-selective partial Pb underpotential deposition (UPD), suggesting that Pb blocks certain CO adsorption sites. With Pb UPD on single crystals and theoretical surface Pourbaix analysis, we eliminate (111) terraces as a possible adsorption site of CO. Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of explicit water on the Au surface show the adsorption of CO on (211) steps to be significantly weakened relative to the (100) terrace due to competitive water adsorption. This result suggests that CO is more likely to bind to the (100) terrace than (211) steps in an electrochemical environment, even though Au steps under gas-phase conditions bind CO more strongly. The competition between water and CO adsorption can result in different binding sites for CO on Au in the gas phase and electrochemical environments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number32
Pages (from-to)17684-17689
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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