CENmat | Green Technology | Cutting-Edge Nanomaterials | Waldenbuch

Nanosized IrOx–Ir shows a five-fold higher activity towards oxygen evolution reaction (OER) than commercial Ir-black.

We have developed a highly active nanostructured iridium catalyst for anodes of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. Clusters of nanosized crystallites are obtained by reducing surfactant-stabilized IrCl3 in water-free conditions. The catalyst shows a five-fold higher activity towards oxygen evolution reaction (OER) than commercial Ir-black. The improved kinetics of the catalyst are reflected in the high performance of the PEM electrolyzer (1 mg Ir cm−2), showing an unparalleled low overpotential and negligible degradation. Our results demonstrate that this enhancement cannot be only attributed to increased surface area, but rather to the ligand effect and low coordinate sites resulting in a high turnover frequency (TOF). The catalyst developed herein sets a benchmark and a strategy for the development of ultra-low loading catalyst layers for PEM electrolysis. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ange.201507626/abstract)