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Amorphization mechanism of SrIrO 3 electrocatalyst: How oxygen redox initiates ionic diffusion and structural reorganizationThe use of renewable electricity to prepare materials and fuels from abundant molecules offers a tantalizing opportunity to address concerns over energy and materials sustainability. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is integral to nearly all material and fuel electrosyntheses. However, very little is known about the structural evolution of the OER electrocatalyst, especially the amorphous layer that forms from the crystalline structure. Here, we investigate the interfacial transformation of the SrIrO 3 OER electrocatalyst. The SrIrO 3 amorphization is initiated by the lattice oxygen redox, a step that allows Sr 2+ to diffuse and O 2− to reorganize the SrIrO 3 structure. This activation turns SrIrO 3 into a highly disordered Ir octahedral network with Ir square-planar motif. The final Sr y IrO x exhibits a greater degree of disorder than IrO x made from other processing methods. Our results demonstrate that the structural reorganization facilitated by coupled ionic diffusions is essential to the disordered structure of the SrIrO 3 electrocatalyst.
Tailoring manganese oxide with atomic precision to increase surface site availability for oxygen reduction catalysis
Controlling the structure of catalysts at the atomic level provides an opportunity to establish detailed understanding of the catalytic form-to-function and realize new, non-equilibrium catalytic structures. Here, advanced thin-film deposition is used to control the atomic structure of La2/3Sr1/3MnO3, a well-known catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction. The surface and sub-surface is customized, whereas the overall composition and
d-electron configuration of the oxide is kept constant. Although the addition of SrMnO3benefits the oxygen reduction reaction via electronic structure and conductivity improvements, SrMnO3can react with ambient air to reduce the surface site availability. Placing SrMnO3in the sub-surface underneath a LaMnO3overlayer allows the catalyst to maintain the surface site availability while benefiting from improved electronic effects. The results show the promise of advanced thin-film deposition for realizing atomically precise catalysts, in which the surface and sub-surface structure and stoichiometry are tailored for functionality, over controlling only bulk compositions.