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Iridium-Based Nanowires as Highly Active, Oxygen Evolution Reaction Electrocatalysts

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journal contribution
posted on 22.01.2018, 00:00 by Shaun M. Alia, Sarah Shulda, Chilan Ngo, Svitlana Pylypenko, Bryan S. Pivovar
Iridium–nickel (Ir–Ni) and iridium–cobalt (Ir–Co) nanowires have been synthesized by galvanic displacement and studied for their potential to increase the performance and durability of electrolysis systems. Performances of Ir–Ni and Ir–Co nanowires for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) have been measured in rotating disk electrode half-cells and single-cell electrolyzers and compared with commercial baselines and literature references. The nanowire catalysts showed improved mass activity, by more than an order of magnitude compared with commercial Ir nanoparticles in half-cell tests. The nanowire catalysts also showed greatly improved durability, when acid-leached to remove excess Ni and Co. Both Ni and Co templates were found to have similarly positive impacts, although specific differences between the two systems are revealed. In single-cell electrolysis testing, nanowires exceeded the performance of Ir nanoparticles by 4–5 times, suggesting that significant reductions in catalyst loading are possible without compromising performance.