Ru-decorated Pt surfaces as model fuel cell electrocatalysts for CO electrooxidation

F. Maillard, G. Q. Lu, A. Wieckowski, U. Stimming

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


This feature article concerns Pt surfaces modified (decorated) by ruthenium as model fuel cell electrocatalysts for electrooxidation processes. This work reveals the role of ruthenium promoters in enhancing electrocatalytic activity toward organic fuels for fuel cells, and it particularly concerns the methanol decomposition product, surface CO. A special focus is on surface mobility of the CO as it is catalytically oxidized to CO 2. Different methods used to prepare Ru-decorated Pt single crystal surfaces as well as Ru-decorated Pt nanoparticles are reviewed, and the methods of characterization and testing of their activity are discussed. The focus is on the origin of peak splitting involved in the voltammetric electrooxidation of CO on Ru-decorated Pt surfaces, and on the interpretative consequences of the splitting for single crystal and nanoparticle Pt/Ru bimetallic surfaces. Apparently, screening through the literature allows formulating several models of the CO stripping reaction, and the validity of these models is discussed. Major efforts are made in this article to compare the results reported by the Urbana-Champaign group and the Munich group, but also by other groups. As electrocatalysis is progressively more and more driven by theory, our review of the experimental findings may serve to summarize the state of the art and clarify the roads ahead. Future studies will deal with highly dispersed and reactive nanoscale surfaces and other more advanced catalytic materials for fuel cell catalysis and related energy applications. It is expected that the metal/metal and metal/substrate interactions will be increasingly investigated on atomic and electronic levels, with likewise increasing participation of theory, and the structure and reactivity of various monolayer catalytic systems involving more than two metals (that is ternary and quaternary systems) will be interrogated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16230-16243
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number34
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2005


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