Balancing activity, stability and conductivity of nanoporous core-shell iridium/iridium oxide oxygen evolution catalysts.
Published Web Locationhttp://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01734-7
The selection of oxide materials for catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction in acid-based electrolyzers must be guided by the proper balance between activity, stability and conductivity-a challenging mission of great importance for delivering affordable and environmentally friendly hydrogen. Here we report that the highly conductive nanoporous architecture of an iridium oxide shell on a metallic iridium core, formed through the fast dealloying of osmium from an Ir25Os75 alloy, exhibits an exceptional balance between oxygen evolution activity and stability as quantified by the activity-stability factor. On the basis of this metric, the nanoporous Ir/IrO2 morphology of dealloyed Ir25Os75 shows a factor of ~30 improvement in activity-stability factor relative to conventional iridium-based oxide materials, and an ~8 times improvement over dealloyed Ir25Os75 nanoparticles due to optimized stability and conductivity, respectively. We propose that the activity-stability factor is a key "metric" for determining the technological relevance of oxide-based anodic water electrolyzer catalysts.