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      Electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction: recent development and future perspectives

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          Abstract

          We review the fundamental aspects of metal oxides, metal chalcogenides and metal pnictides as effective electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction.

          There is still an ongoing effort to search for sustainable, clean and highly efficient energy generation to satisfy the energy needs of modern society. Among various advanced technologies, electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a key role and numerous new electrocatalysts have been developed to improve the efficiency of gas evolution. Along the way, enormous effort has been devoted to finding high-performance electrocatalysts, which has also stimulated the invention of new techniques to investigate the properties of materials or the fundamental mechanism of the OER. This accumulated knowledge not only establishes the foundation of the mechanism of the OER, but also points out the important criteria for a good electrocatalyst based on a variety of studies. Even though it may be difficult to include all cases, the aim of this review is to inspect the current progress and offer a comprehensive insight toward the OER. This review begins with examining the theoretical principles of electrode kinetics and some measurement criteria for achieving a fair evaluation among the catalysts. The second part of this review acquaints some materials for performing OER activity, in which the metal oxide materials build the basis of OER mechanism while non-oxide materials exhibit greatly promising performance toward overall water-splitting. Attention of this review is also paid to in situ approaches to electrocatalytic behavior during OER, and this information is crucial and can provide efficient strategies to design perfect electrocatalysts for OER. Finally, the OER mechanism from the perspective of both recent experimental and theoretical investigations is discussed, as well as probable strategies for improving OER performance with regards to future developments.

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          Most cited references143

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          Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future.

          Access to clean, affordable and reliable energy has been a cornerstone of the world's increasing prosperity and economic growth since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Our use of energy in the twenty-first century must also be sustainable. Solar and water-based energy generation, and engineering of microbes to produce biofuels are a few examples of the alternatives. This Perspective puts these opportunities into a larger context by relating them to a number of aspects in the transportation and electricity generation sectors. It also provides a snapshot of the current energy landscape and discusses several research and development opportunities and pathways that could lead to a prosperous, sustainable and secure energy future for the world.
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            A perovskite oxide optimized for oxygen evolution catalysis from molecular orbital principles.

            The efficiency of many energy storage technologies, such as rechargeable metal-air batteries and hydrogen production from water splitting, is limited by the slow kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). We found that Ba(0.5)Sr(0.5)Co(0.8)Fe(0.2)O(3-δ) (BSCF) catalyzes the OER with intrinsic activity that is at least an order of magnitude higher than that of the state-of-the-art iridium oxide catalyst in alkaline media. The high activity of BSCF was predicted from a design principle established by systematic examination of more than 10 transition metal oxides, which showed that the intrinsic OER activity exhibits a volcano-shaped dependence on the occupancy of the 3d electron with an e(g) symmetry of surface transition metal cations in an oxide. The peak OER activity was predicted to be at an e(g) occupancy close to unity, with high covalency of transition metal-oxygen bonds.
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              Nickel-iron oxyhydroxide oxygen-evolution electrocatalysts: the role of intentional and incidental iron incorporation.

              Fe plays a critical, but not yet understood, role in enhancing the activity of the Ni-based oxygen evolution reaction (OER) electrocatalysts. We report electrochemical, in situ electrical, photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction measurements on Ni(1-x)Fe(x)(OH)2/Ni(1-x)Fe(x)OOH thin films to investigate the changes in electronic properties, OER activity, and structure as a result of Fe inclusion. We developed a simple method for purification of KOH electrolyte that uses precipitated bulk Ni(OH)2 to absorb Fe impurities. Cyclic voltammetry on rigorously Fe-free Ni(OH)2/NiOOH reveals new Ni redox features and no significant OER current until >400 mV overpotential, different from previous reports which were likely affected by Fe impurities. We show through controlled crystallization that β-NiOOH is less active for OER than the disordered γ-NiOOH starting material and that previous reports of increased activity for β-NiOOH are due to incorporation of Fe-impurities during the crystallization process. Through-film in situ conductivity measurements show a >30-fold increase in film conductivity with Fe addition, but this change in conductivity is not sufficient to explain the observed changes in activity. Measurements of activity as a function of film thickness on Au and glassy carbon substrates are consistent with the hypothesis that Fe exerts a partial-charge-transfer activation effect on Ni, similar to that observed for noble-metal electrode surfaces. These results have significant implications for the design and study of Ni(1-x)Fe(x)OOH OER electrocatalysts, which are the fastest measured OER catalysts under basic conditions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CSRVBR
                Chemical Society Reviews
                Chem. Soc. Rev.
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                0306-0012
                1460-4744
                2017
                2017
                : 46
                : 2
                : 337-365
                Article
                10.1039/C6CS00328A
                28083578
                5146ac28-fdbb-453f-8046-6d9e0fa34a80
                © 2017
                History

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