Iridium single atoms coupling with oxygen vacancies boosts oxygen evolution reaction in acid media

Pinxian Xi, Bolong Huang (Corresponding Author), Jie Yin, Jing Jin, Min Lu, Hong Zhang, Yong Peng, Chun Hua Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

321 Citations (Scopus)


Simultaneous realization of improved activity, enhanced stability, and reduced cost remains a desirable yet challenging goal in the search of electrocatalysis oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in acid. Herein, we report a novel strategy to prepare iridium single-atoms (Ir-SAs) on ultrathin NiCo2O4 porous nanosheets (Ir-NiCo2O4 NSs) by the co-electrodeposition method. The surface-exposed Ir-SAs couplings with oxygen vacancies (VO) exhibit boosting the catalysts OER activity and stability in acid media. They display superior OER performance with an ultralow overpotential of 240 mV at j = 10 mA cm-2 and long-term stability of 70 h in acid media. The TOFs of 1.13 and 6.70 s-1 at an overpotential of 300 and 370 mV also confirm their remarkable performance. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal that the prominent OER performance arises from the surface electronic exchange-andtransfer activities contributed by atomic Ir incorporation on the intrinsic VO existed NiCo2O4 surface. The atomic Ir sites substantially elevate the electronic activity of surface lower coordinated Co sites nearby VO, which facilitate the surface electronic exchange-and-transfer capabilities. With this trend, the preferred H2O activation and stabilized ∗O have been reached toward competitively lower overpotential. This is a generalized key for optimally boosting OER performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18378-18386
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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