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Advances in Physical Chemistry
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 851640, 14 pages
Review Article

Recent Progress in Hydrogen Electrocatalysis

1Institute of Theoretical Chemistry, Ulm University, 89069 Ulm, Germany
2PRELINE, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina
3Facultad de Matemáticas, Astronomía y Física, IFEG-CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina

Received 15 February 2011; Accepted 25 March 2011

Academic Editor: Milan M. Jaksic

Copyright © 2011 P. Quaino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, we have proposed a unified model for electrochemical electron transfer reactions which explicitly accounts for the electronic structure of the electrode. It provides a framework describing the whole course of bond-breaking electron transfer, which explains catalytic effects caused by the presence of surface d bands. In application on real systems, the parameters of this model—interaction strengths, densities of states, and energies of reorganization—are obtained from density functional theory (DFT). In this opportunity, we review our main achievements in applying the theory of electrocatalysis. Particularly, we have focused on the electrochemical adsorption of a proton from the solution—the Volmer reaction—on a variety of systems of technological interest, such as bare single crystals and nanostructured surfaces. We discuss in detail the interaction of the surface metal d band with the valence orbital of the reactant and its effect on the catalytic activity as well as other aspects that influence the surface-electrode reactivity such as strain and chemical factors.