Surface structure of Pd3Fe(111): Anomolous surface morphology and implications for electrocatalysis

Xiaofang Yang, Bruce E. Koel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Pd-Fe alloys have attracted attention in PEM fuel cell research because they were found to be comparable to Pt electrocatalysts in oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) kinetics at the cathode. We report on studies of the surface morphology of a Pd3Fe (111) single crystal and oxygen reaction on the surface using LEIS, XPS, LEED, and STM. Extensive segregation of Pd was observed after annealing in UHV, and in particular, Pd single adatoms and dimers were found, which differs from other well-studied binary alloy systems. The experimental observations of unusual Pd segregation are supported by DFT calculations. Adsorption of oxygen reversed the segregation trend and oxidized surface Fe, and ordered surface phases were observed at elevated temperatures. The formation of Pd adatoms, reducing activity of Fe atoms in the alloy which inhibits Pd oxidation, and weakened Pd-O interactions on Pd3Fe(111) are consistent with enhanced ORR kinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event240th ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2010Aug 26 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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