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Bifunctional enhancement of oxygen reduction reaction activity on Ag catalysts due to water activation on LaMnO3 supports in alkaline media.


PMID 26310526

Abstract

Ag is considered to be one of the best candidates for oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalysts in alkaline media for application in various electrochemical energy devices. In this study, we demonstrate that water activation is a key factor in enhancing the ORR activity in alkaline media, unlike in acid environments. Ag supported on LaMnO3 having a high oxophilicity showed a markedly higher ORR activity than that on carbon with inert surfaces. Through various electrochemical tests, it was revealed that the origin of the enhanced ORR activity of Ag/LaMnO3 is the bifunctional effect mainly due to the water activation at the interface between Ag and LaMnO3. Furthermore, the ligand effect due to the charge transfer from Mn to Ag leads to the enhancement of both oxygen activation on Ag and water activation on Mn sites, and hence, an improvement in the ORR activity of Ag/LaMnO3. On the other hand, the strain effect based on the fine structure variation in the lattice was negligible. We therefore suggest that the employment of a co-catalyst or support with highly oxophilic nature and the maximization of the interface between catalyst and support should be considered in the design of electrocatalysts for the ORR in alkaline media.

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