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Screening of Novel Li–Air Battery Catalyst Materials by a Thin Film Combinatorial Materials Approach

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journal contribution
posted on 08.06.2015, 00:00 by John G. Hauck, Paul J. McGinn
A combinatorial synthesis and high-throughput screening process was developed for the investigation of potential oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts for use as Li–air battery cathode materials. Libraries of discrete ternary metal alloy compositions were deposited via thin-film sputtering. The samples were electrochemically tested in parallel using cyclic voltammetry in O2-saturated KOH electrolyte. Compositions were ranked by ORR and OER onset potentials with respect to an internal Pt reference. Results from the Pt–Mn–Co, Cr–Mn–Co, Pd–Mn–Co, and Pd–Mn–Ru systems are reported. Many alloy compositions showed marked improvement in catalytic activity compared to pure Pt. Among the systems considered, Pt12Mn44Co44, Pd43Co57 and Pd36Mn28Ru36 in particular exhibited lower overpotentials for oxygen reactions, which occur at the cathode in Li–air batteries.