Stabilizing Highly Active Ru Sites by Suppressing Lattice Oxygen Participation in Acidic Water Oxidation

Yunzhou Wen, Peining Chen, Lu Wang, Shangyu Li, Ziyun Wang, Jehad Abed, Xinnan Mao, Yimeng Min, Cao Thang Dinh, Phil De Luna, Rui Huang, Longsheng Zhang, Lie Wang, Liping Wang, Robert J. Nielsen, Huihui Li, Taotao Zhuang, Changchun Ke, Oleksandr Voznyy, Yongfeng HuYouyong Li, William A. Goddard, Bo Zhang, Huisheng Peng, Edward H. Sargent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


In hydrogen production, the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) limits the energy conversion efficiency and also impacts stability in proton-exchange membrane water electrolyzers. Widely used Ir-based catalysts suffer from insufficient activity, while more active Ru-based catalysts tend to dissolve under OER conditions. This has been associated with the participation of lattice oxygen (lattice oxygen oxidation mechanism (LOM)), which may lead to the collapse of the crystal structure and accelerate the leaching of active Ru species, leading to low operating stability. Here we develop Sr-Ru-Ir ternary oxide electrocatalysts that achieve high OER activity and stability in acidic electrolyte. The catalysts achieve an overpotential of 190 mV at 10 mA cm-2 and the overpotential remains below 225 mV following 1,500 h of operation. X-ray absorption spectroscopy and 18O isotope-labeled online mass spectroscopy studies reveal that the participation of lattice oxygen during OER was suppressed by interactions in the Ru-O-Ir local structure, offering a picture of how stability was improved. The electronic structure of active Ru sites was modulated by Sr and Ir, optimizing the binding energetics of OER oxo-intermediates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6482-6490
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 5 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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