Embodiments of a device, or a component of a device, including a stabilized graphite surface, methods of stabilizing graphite surfaces, and uses for the devices or components are disclosed. The device or component includes a surface comprising graphite, and a plurality of haloaryl ions and/or haloalkyl ions bound to at least a portion of the graphite. The ions may be perhaloaryl ions and/or perhaloalkyl ions. In certain embodiments, the ions are perfluorobenzenesulfonate anions. Embodiments of the device or component including stabilized graphite surfaces may maintain a steady-state oxidation or reduction surface current density after being exposed to continuous oxidation conditions for a period of at least 1-100 hours. The device or component is prepared by exposing a graphite-containing surface to an acidic aqueous solution of the ions under oxidizing conditions. The device or component can be exposed in situ to the solution.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
 This invention was made with government support under Cooperative Agreement Number 51286 awarded by the Bonneville Power Administration and DE-FG36-08G018179 awarded by Department of Energy Award. The government has certain rights in the invention.