Recent research results on the surface reactivity of cyanide ion on platinum electrodes are reviewed. Typically, cyanide adlayers were prepared by adsorption at open circuit potential on the three basal surfaces of platinum, namely Pt(111), Pt(100) and Pt(110). Cyclic voltammetry and in situ FT-IR studies were combined to study the structure and composition of the pre-adsorbed layers in acidic medium. It was found that the surface reactivity of adsorbed cyanide depends strongly on the surface orientation of the platinum substrate. Highly reactive adlayers are obtained on Pt(100) electrodes in strongly acidic medium but a lack of reactivity is found for cyanide adsorbed at Pt(111) surfaces. The cyanide adlayer slowly desorbs from the Pt(110) surface in acidic medium.
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