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Local surface structure and composition control the hydrogen evolution reaction on iron nickel sulfides

: Bentley, Cameron L.; Andronescu, Corina; Smialkowski, Mathias; Kang, Minkyung; Tarnev, Tsvetan; Marler, Bernd; Unwin, Patrick R.; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Schuhmann, Wolfgang


Angewandte Chemie. International edition 57 (2018), No.15, pp.4093-4097
ISSN: 1433-7851
ISSN: 0044-8249
ISSN: 0570-0833
ISSN: 1521-3773
Journal Article
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Oberhausen ()
electrocatalysis; hydrogen evolution reaction; iron nickel sulfide; SECCM; surface

In order to design more powerful electrocatalysts, developing our understanding of the role of the surface structure and composition of widely abundant bulk materials is crucial. This is particularly true in the search for alternative hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts to replace platinum. We report scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) measurements of the (111)-crystal planes of Fe4.5Ni4.5S8, a highly active HER catalyst. In combination with structural characterization methods, we show that this technique can reveal differences in activity arising from even the slightest compositional changes. By probing electrochemical properties at the nanoscale, in conjunction with complementary structural information, novel design principles are revealed for application to rational material synthesis.