Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

Using surface segregation to design stable Ru-Ir oxides for the oxygen evolution reaction in acidic environments.

PMID 25297010


The methods used to improve catalytic activity are well-established, however elucidating the factors that simultaneously control activity and stability is still lacking, especially for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts. Here, by studying fundamental links between the activity and stability of well-characterized monometallic and bimetallic oxides, we found that there is generally an inverse relationship between activity and stability. To overcome this limitation, we developed a new synthesis strategy that is based on tuning the near-surface composition of Ru and Ir elements by surface segregation, thereby resulting in the formation of a nanosegregated domain that balances the stability and activity of surface atoms. We demonstrate that a Ru0.5Ir0.5 alloy synthesized by using this method exhibits four-times higher stability than the best Ru-Ir oxygen evolution reaction materials, while still preserving the same activity.