Controlled Synthesis of Chromium-Oxide-Based Protective Layers on Pt: Influence of Layer Thickness on Selectivity

Myles Worsley, Vera Smulders, Bastian Mei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Chromium-oxyhydroxide (CrxOyHz)-based thin films have previously been shown in photocatalysis and industrial chlorate production to prevent unwanted reduction reactions to occur, thereby enhancing the selectivity for hydrogen evolution and thus the overall process efficiency. Here, a highly reproducible synthesis protocol was developed to allow for the electrodeposition of CrxOyHz-based thin films with controlled thickness in the range of the sub-monolayer up to (>4) multilayer coverage. Electrodeposited CrxOyHz coatings were electrochemically characterized using voltammetry and stripping experiments, allowing thickness-dependent film selectivity to be deduced in detail. The results are discussed in terms of mass transport properties and structure of the electrodeposited chromium oxyhydroxide films. It is shown that the permeation of diatomic probe molecules, such as O2 and CO, was significantly reduced by films as thin as four monolayers. Importantly, it is shown that the prepared thin film coatings enabled prolonged hydrogen oxidation in the presence of CO (up to 5 vol.%), demonstrating the benefits of thin-film-protected electrocatalysts. In general, this study provides insight into the synthesis and use of thin-film-protected electrodes leading to improvements in (electro)catalyst selectivity and durability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1077
Issue number10
Early online date20 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • electrocatalysis
  • electrodeposition
  • eQCM
  • hydrogen oxidation
  • selectivity
  • ultrathin oxide layers


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