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Surface charges of catalysts have important influences on the thermodynamics and kinetics of electrochemical reactions. Herein, we develop a modified version of the grand-canonical potential kinetics (GCP-K) method based on density functional theory (DFT) calculations to explore the effect of surface charges on reaction thermodynamics and kinetics. Using the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on the Pt(111) surface as an example, we show how to track the change of surface charge in a reaction and how to analyze its influence on the kinetics. Grand-canonical calculations demonstrate that the optimum hydrogen adsorption energy on Pt under the standard hydrogen electrode condition (SHE) is around -0.2 eV, rather than 0 eV established under the canonical ensemble, due to the high density of surface negative charges. By separating the surface charges that can freely exchange with the external electron reservoir, we obtain a Tafel barrier that is in good agreement with the experimental result. During the Tafel reaction, the net electron inflow into the catalyst leads to a stabilization of canonical energy and a destabilization of the charge-dependent grand-canonical component. This study provides a practical method for obtaining accurate grand-canonical reaction energetics and analyzing the surface charge induced changes.


Pt(111), charge effect, hydrogen adsorption energy, hydrogen evolution reaction, modified grand-canonical potential kinetics method



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