Structure of the Electrochemical Solid/Liquid Interface
As the interface between electrode and electrolyte can be viewed as the site where electrochemical reactions take place, understanding its morphology and composition is indispensable and should be the natural step prior to any electrocatalytic study.
While in the first funding period we focused on the static structure of the electrochemical interface, the aim of the second period will be on the dynamical behavior. The focus will remain on the low-index surfaces of Pt, Pd and Au, which are the electrodes relevant for this research unit. By combining theoretical simulation methods with in-situ distance tunneling spectroscopy measurements the structure of specifically but also non-specifically adsorbing electrolyte ions, in particular perchloric-acid as well as Cl--containing electrolytes, will be studied on the atomic scale.
For the theoretical calculations we will use density functional theory and will develop reactive forcefields to simulate dynamical changes in the interfacial structure. Since the presence of adlayers of electrolyte ions at or near the electrode certainly alter the properties of electrochemical interfaces, the obtained results will also be of high relevance for the other projects of this research unit that focus on electrocatalytic reactions.