Oxidation and de-alloying of PtMn particle models: a computational investigation

Thantip Roongcharoen, Xin Yang, Shuang Han, Luca Sementa, Tejs Vegge, Heine Anton Hansen*, Alessandro Fortunelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present a computational study of the energetics and mechanisms of oxidation of Pt-Mn systems. We use slab models and simulate the oxidation process over the most stable (111) facet at a given Pt2Mn composition to make the problem computationally affordable, and combine Density-Functional Theory (DFT) with neural network potentials and metadynamics simulations to accelerate the mechanistic search. We find, first, that Mn has a strong tendency to alloy with Pt. This tendency is optimally realized when Pt and Mn are mixed in the bulk, but, at a composition in which the Mn content is high enough such as for Pt2Mn, Mn atoms will also be found in the surface outmost layer. These surface Mn atoms can dissociate O2 and generate MnOx species, transforming the surface-alloyed Mn atoms into MnOx surface oxide structures supported on a metallic framework in which one or more vacancy sites are simultaneously created. The thus-formed vacancies promote the successive steps of the oxidation process: the vacancy sites can be filled by surface oxygen atoms, which can then interact with Mn atoms in deeper layers, or subsurface Mn atoms can intercalate into interstitial sites. Both these steps facilitate the extraction of further bulk Mn atoms into MnOx oxide surface structures, and thus the progress of the oxidation process, with typical rate-determining energy barriers in the range 0.9-1.0 eV.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFaraday Discussions
Pages (from-to)174-192
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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