Enabling solar fuels technology by high throughput discovery of earth abundant oxygen evolution reaction catalysts
The High Throughput Experimentation (HTE) project of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis performs accelerated discovery of new earth- abundant photoabsorbers and electrocatalysts. We will describe several new screening instruments for high throughput (photo- ) electrochem. measurements and summarize the discovery pipelines. This approach will be illustrated using the high throughput discovery, follow- on verification, and device implementation of a new quaternary metal oxide catalyst. Discovering improved electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is of great importance for efficient solar fuels generation, regenerative fuel cells, and recharging metal air batteries. We report a new Ce- rich family of active catalysts composed of earth abundant elements, which was discovered using high- throughput methods to produce 5456 discrete compns. in the (Ni- Fe- Co- Ce) Ox compn. space. The activity and stability of this new OER catalyst was verified by re- synthesis and extensive electrochem. testing of samples in a std. format in 1.0 M NaOH. Characterization of selected compns. by XRD, XPS, SEM, TEM, EDS, XRF mapping, and EXAFS both as- synthesized and after electrochem. testing, reveal the importance of nanostructure to the obsd. electrochem. performance. The discovery of addnl. electrocatalysts by expansion of the compn. space investigated and of new compn. spaces tested for OER activity and stability under acidic conditions will be reported.