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J Phys Chem B ; 126(26): 4948-4955, 2022 07 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35748647


Hydrophobic cluster structures in aqueous ethanol solutions at different concentrations have been investigated by soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). In the O K-edge XAS, we have found that hydrogen bond structures among water molecules are enhanced in the middle-concentration region by the hydrophobic interaction of the ethyl groups in ethanol. In the C K-edge XAS, the lower energy features arise from a transition from the terminal methyl C 1s electron to an unoccupied orbital of 3s Rydberg character, which is sensitive to the nearest-neighbor intermolecular interactions. From the comparison of C K-edge XAS with the inner-shell calculations, we have found that ethanol clusters are easily formed in the middle-concentration region due to the hydrophobic interaction of the ethyl group in ethanol, resulting in the enhancement of the hydrogen bond structures among water molecules. This behavior is different from aqueous methanol solutions, where the methanol-water mixed clusters are more predominant in the middle-concentration region due to the relatively weak hydrophobic interactions of the methyl group in methanol.

Etanol , Metanol , Interações Hidrofóbicas e Hidrofílicas , Água/química , Espectroscopia por Absorção de Raios X
ACS Catal ; 12(6): 3256-3268, 2022 Mar 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35359579


Co oxides and oxyhydroxides have been studied extensively in the past as promising electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in neutral to alkaline media. Earlier studies showed the formation of an ultrathin CoO x (OH) y skin layer on Co3O4 at potentials above 1.15 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), but the precise influence of this skin layer on the OER reactivity is still under debate. We present here a systematic study of epitaxial spinel-type Co3O4 films with defined (111) orientation, prepared on different substrates by electrodeposition or physical vapor deposition. The OER overpotential of these samples may vary up to 120 mV, corresponding to two orders of magnitude differences in current density, which cannot be accounted for by differences in the electrochemically active surface area. We demonstrate by a careful analysis of operando surface X-ray diffraction measurements that these differences are clearly correlated with the average thickness of the skin layer. The OER reactivity increases with the amount of formed skin layer, indicating that the entire three-dimensional skin layer is an OER-active interphase. Furthermore, a scaling relationship between the reaction centers in the skin layer and the OER activity is established. It suggests that two lattice sites are involved in the OER mechanism.