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Heterostructured Au-Ir Catalysts for Enhanced Oxygen Evolution Reaction

  • Author(s): Chen, PC;
  • Li, M;
  • Jin, J;
  • Yu, S;
  • Chen, S;
  • Chen, C;
  • Salmeron, M;
  • Yang, P
  • et al.
Abstract

Electrochemical water splitting operated under acidic conditions provides a clean approach to generate hydrogen fuels. Currently, the sluggish kinetics of oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at the anode is a bottleneck limiting the acidic water splitting. Here, we report that the OER activity of Ir, one of the most commonly used OER catalysts, can be boosted by forming phase boundaries with Au. Mixed Au and Ir catalysts were synthesized on carbon paper electrodes, which underwent structural evolution under the OER environment to form an Au-Ir interface-rich structure. Compared with Ir catalyst, which requires an overpotential of ∼393 mV to achieve a current density of 10 mA/cm2 in 0.1 M HClO4 electrolyte, the evolved Au-Ir catalyst shows a lower overpotential at ∼351 mV. X-ray photoelectronic spectrum (XPS) study, in conjunction with electrochemical analysis on the surface-site-normalized activity, reveals that the improved OER performance is due to the presence of Au/Ir interfaces in the catalysts. In addition to Ir, the strategy of accelerating OER via Au/Ir interfaces has been further applied to IrCo, IrNi, and IrCu alloy catalysts. With the broad applicability of the strategy demonstrated, this study opens a new route to design OER catalysts for efficient acidic water splitting.

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