Lithium-Directed Transformation of Amorphous Iridium (Oxy)hydroxides To Produce Active Water Oxidation Catalysts

Jonathan Ruiz Esquius, David J. Morgan, Gerardo Algara Siller, Diego Gianolio, Matteo Aramini, Leopold Lahn, Olga Kasian, Simon A. Kondrat, Robert Schlögl, Graham J. Hutchings, Rosa Arrigo, Simon J. Freakley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is crucial to future energy systems based on water electrolysis. Iridium oxides are promising catalysts due to their resistance to corrosion under acidic and oxidizing conditions. Highly active iridium (oxy)hydroxides prepared using alkali metal bases transform into low activity rutile IrO2 at elevated temperatures (>350 °C) during catalyst/electrode preparation. Depending on the residual amount of alkali metals, we now show that this transformation can result in either rutile IrO2 or nano-crystalline Li-intercalated IrOx. While the transition to rutile results in poor activity, the Li-intercalated IrOx has comparative activity and improved stability when compared to the highly active amorphous material despite being treated at 500 °C. This highly active nanocrystalline form of lithium iridate could be more resistant to industrial procedures to produce PEM membranes and provide a route to stabilize the high populations of redox active sites of amorphous iridium (oxy)hydroxides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6398-6409
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number11
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to show our gratitude to the MaxNet Energy research consortium for financial support. G.J.H. acknowledges the Max Planck Centre for Fundamental Heterogeneous Catalysis (FUNCAT) for financial support. We acknowledge Diamond Light Source for time on Beamline B18 under Proposal SP18701-1 and the UK Catalysis Hub for allowing access through Bulk Allocation Group SP15151-10. Alex Mayer is thanked for processing the acquired data into wavelet plots. O.K. acknowledges support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the framework of the project CatLab (03EW0015A/B).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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