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Overcoming Hurdles in Oxygen Evolution Catalyst Discovery via Codesign

Rao, Karun K. and Lai, Yungchieh and Zhou, Lan and Haber, Joel A. and Bajdich, Michal and Gregoire, John M. (2022) Overcoming Hurdles in Oxygen Evolution Catalyst Discovery via Codesign. Chemistry of Materials, 34 (3). pp. 899-910. ISSN 0897-4756. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c04120.

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The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is central to several sustainable energy technologies. Catalyst development has largely focused on lowering the overpotential and eliminating reliance on precious metals, revealing stark differences in alkaline and acidic OER. In alkaline electrolyte, precious metal-free catalysts have approached the limiting overpotential from established free energy scaling relationships, and our survey of complex metal oxides shows that this limit can be approached with a broad range of catalysts. In acidic electrolyte, electrochemical instabilities create a dual challenge of a dearth of nonprecious metal OER catalysts with overpotential below 0.5 V and a high dissolved metals concentration for most precious metal-free catalysts. On device-relevant time scales, the high dissolved metals concentrations compromise device stability, for example, through a decrease of performance and due to metal exchange between anode and cathode catalysts due to finite permeability of ion exchange membranes. These considerations motivate a substantial increase in monitoring and reporting of dissolved metals concentrations in OER experiments. To facilitate durability-based screening in continued catalyst discovery campaigns, we introduce a durability descriptor based on the d-electron count of each metal element compared to that of its Pourbaix-stable oxidation state, which enables rapid down-selection of candidate metal oxide catalysts. We discuss the importance of a codesign approach to catalyst development, where a device architecture can set specific requirements for dissolved metals concentrations and/or cathode and anode catalysts can be designed to tolerate cross-contamination. This device-level guidance of basic science will facilitate deployment of new catalysts to meet the societal needs for accelerated sustainable technology development.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lai, Yungchieh0000-0001-9392-1447
Zhou, Lan0000-0002-7052-266X
Haber, Joel A.0000-0001-7847-5506
Bajdich, Michal0000-0003-1168-8616
Gregoire, John M.0000-0002-2863-5265
Additional Information:© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Received: December 8, 2021; Revised: January 10, 2022; Published: January 24, 2022. This material is based on work performed by the Liquid Sunlight Alliance, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Fuels from Sunlight Hub, under Award DE-SC0021266. Author Contributions. (K.K.R. and Y.L.) These authors contributed equally. The manuscript was written through contributions of all authors. All authors have given approval to the final version of the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Group:Liquid Sunlight Alliance
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0021266
Subject Keywords:Catalysts, Radiology, Metals, Materials, Stability
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220124-215443000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Overcoming Hurdles in Oxygen Evolution Catalyst Discovery via Codesign. Karun K. Rao, Yungchieh Lai, Lan Zhou, Joel A. Haber, Michal Bajdich, and John M. Gregoire. Chemistry of Materials 2022 34 (3), 899-910; DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c04120
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113090
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:25 Jan 2022 20:53
Last Modified:15 Feb 2022 20:32

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