Selenium becomes metallic in Ru-Se fuel cell catalysts: An EC-NMR and XPS investigation

Panakkattu K. Babu, Adam Lewera, Ho Chung Jong, Ralf Hunger, Wolfram Jaegermann, Nicolas Alonso-Vante, Andrzej Wieckowski, Eric Oldfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the results of an investigation of the interaction between Se and Ru in Ru-Se electrocatalysts showing high activity and methanol tolerance in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The results of both 77Se EC-NMR as well as the XPS measurements indicate that Se, a semiconductor in elemental form, becomes metallic when interacting with Ru in catalysts made both by direct Se deposition onto Ru and from Ru3(CO)12. The 77Se spin-lattice relaxation rates are proportional to T, the Korringa behavior characteristic of metals, an observation supported by the XPS binding energy shift results. The binding energy shifts are proposed to be due to Ru → Se charge transfer (resulting in the semiconductor → metal transition) which makes Ru less susceptible to oxidation, in the ORR. The results are of general interest since the combined use of EC-NMR and XPS should be applicable to the study of a broad range of other catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15140-15141
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 12 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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