Shell-anchor-core structures for enhanced stability and catalytic oxygen reduction activity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Density functional theory is used to evaluate activity and stability properties of shell-anchor-core structures. The structures consist of a Pt surface monolayer and a composite core having an anchor bilayer where C atoms in the interstitial sites lock 3d metals in their locations, thus avoiding their surface segregation and posterior dissolution. The modified subsurface geometry induces less strain on the top surface, thus exerting a favorable effect on the surface catalytic activity where the adsorption strength of the oxygenated species becomes more moderate: weaker than on pure Pt(111) but stronger than on a Pt monolayer having a 3d metal subsurface. Here we analyze the effect of changing the nature of the 3d metal in the subsurface anchor bilayer, and we also test the use of a Pd monolayer instead of Pt on the surface. It is found that a subsurface constituted by two layers with an approximate composition of M(2)C (M = Fe, Ni, and Co) provides a barrier for the migration of subsurface core metal atoms to the surface. Consequently, an enhanced resistance against dissolution in parallel to improved oxygen reduction activity is expected, as given by the values of adsorption energies of reaction intermediates, delayed onset of water oxidation, and/or low coverage of oxygenated species at surface oxidation potentials.

published proceedings

  • J Chem Phys

author list (cited authors)

  • Ramirez-Caballero, G. E., Hirunsit, P., & Balbuena, P. B.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Ramirez-Caballero, Gustavo E||Hirunsit, Pussana||Balbuena, Perla B

publication date

  • October 2010