Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid hydration and interactions with O2 adsorbed on Pt3. Academic Article uri icon


  • The side chain of NAFION, a proton conductive membrane used as electrolyte in low-temperature fuel cells, is modeled with perfluorobutane sulfonic acid. Density functional theory is used to characterize structures and energetics of hydration of the model system interacting with a proton solvated with up to 24 water molecules and analyze interactions of some of these hydrated complexes with O(2) adsorbed on Pt(3). It is found that at least three water molecules are needed to ionize the sulfonic acid, and higher degrees of hydration induce the formation of cages where the water molecules are held together via complex hydrogen-bond networks. The interaction between the complex formed by the ionized acid and the hydrated proton, in contact with a bridge-adsorbed O(2)-Pt(3), promotes the protonation of the adsorbed O(2). Upon protonation, the O(2)-Pt(3) system evolves from hydrophobic to hydrophilic behavior, which may facilitate further interfacial contact.

published proceedings

  • J Phys Chem A

author list (cited authors)

  • Yan, L., Balbuena, P. B., & Seminario, J. M.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Yan, Liuming||Balbuena, Perla B||Seminario, Jorge M

publication date

  • April 2006