4.8 Article

Intermetallic IrGa-IrOx core-shell electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution


Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 1853-1860


DOI: 10.1007/s12274-021-3778-0


IrGa; intermetallics; electrocatalysts; oxygen evolution reaction; core-shell


  1. National Key Research and Development Program of China [2018YFA0702001]
  2. National Natural Science Foundation of China [22071225, 11774327]
  3. Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [WK2060190103]
  4. Hefei National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory [KY2060000175]
  5. Recruitment Program of Thousand Youth Talents

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The study presents a low-Ir core-shell OER electrocatalyst with high activity in acidic media, showing a significantly improved OER performance compared to commercial Ir/C catalyst. The enhanced activity of the IrGa-IMC@IrOx catalysts is attributed to the modified electronic structure of IrOx induced by the intermetallic IrGa core, leading to improved adsorption capacity for O and OH binding and lower energy barrier for OER rate-determining steps.
The development of high-performance Ir-based catalyst for electrocatalysis of oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in acidic media plays a critical role in realizing the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane-based water electrolyzer technology. Here we report a low-Ir core-shell OER electrocatalyst consisting of an intermetallic IrGa (IrGa-IMC) core and a partially oxidized Ir (IrOx) shell. In acidic electrolytes, the IrGa-IMC@IrOx core-shell catalysts exhibit a low overpotential of 272 mV at 10 mA center dot cm(-2) with Ir loading of similar to 20 mu g center dot cm(-2) and a mass activity of 841 A center dot g(Ir)(-1) at 1.52 V, which is 3.6 times greater than that of commercial Ir/C (232 A center dot g(Ir)(-1)) catalyst. We understand by the density functional theory (DFT) calculations that the enhanced OER activity of the IrGa-IMC@IrOx catalysts is ascribed to the lifted degeneracy of Ir 5d electron of surface IrOx sites induced by the intermetallic IrGa core, which increases the adsorption capacity of IrOx layer for O and OH binding and eventually lowers the energy barrier of the OER rate-determining steps.


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