Applying Nuclear Forward Scattering as in situ and operando Tool for the Characterization of FeN4 moieties in the hydrogen evolution reaction

11 October 2023, Version 1


Nuclear forward scattering (NFS) is a synchrotron-based technique relying on the recoil-free nuclear resonance effect similar to Mössbauer spectroscopy. In this work, we introduce NFS for in situ and operando measurements during electrocatalytic reactions. The technique enables faster data acquisition and better discrimination of certain iron sites in comparison to Mössbauer spectroscopy. It is directly accessible at various synchrotrons to a broad community of researchers and applicable to multiple metal isotopes. We demonstrate the power of this technique with the hydrogen evolution mechanism of an immobilized iron porphyrin supported on carbon. Such catalysts are often considered as model systems for iron-nitrogen-carbon (FeNC) catalysts. Using in situ and operando NFS in combination with theoretical predictions of spectroscopic data enables the identification of the intermediate that is formed prior to the rate determining step. The conclusions on the reaction mechanism can be used for future optimization of immobilized molecular catalysts and metal-nitrogen-carbon (MNC) catalysts.


Hydrogen evolution reaction
Nuclear Forward Scattering
in situ spectroscopy

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Data and Discussions
Supplementary Data, Notes, Figures and Tables


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