X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements were performed for the C K-edge of Pt nanoparticles on Ar+-irradiated carbon supports in order to elucidate the origin of improved catalyst performance after the introduction of vacancies into the carbon support. We observed a change in the electronic structure at the interface between the Pt nanoparticles and the carbon support after vacancy introduction, which is in good agreement with theoretical results. The results indicated that vacancy introduction resulted in a drastic change in the Pt–C interactions, which likely affected the d-band center of the Pt nanoparticles and led to the enhancement of the oxygen reduction reaction in catalysts.

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