Synthesis, characterisation and evaluation of IrO2 based binary metal oxide electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reaction

17 Jan 2013

IrO2, IrxRu1-xO2, IrxSnx-1O2 and IrxTax-1O2 (1 ≥ x ≥ 0.7) were synthesized, characterised and evaluated as electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction in solid polymer electrolyte electrolysers. The electrocatalysts were synthesised by adapting the Adams fusion method. The physical properties of the electrocatalysts were characterised by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction. Electrochemical activity of the electrocatalysts toward the oxygen evolution reaction was evaluated by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry. X-ray diffraction revealed no phase separation when RuO2 or SnO2 was introduced into the IrO2 lattice suggesting that solid solutions were formed. Transmission electron microscope analysis revealed nanosize particles for all synthesised metal oxides. Crystallinity increased with the addition of RuO2 and SnO2 while a suppression of crystal growth was observed with the addition of Ta2O5 to IrO2. Chronoamperometry revealed that the addition of all the secondary metal oxides to IrO2 resulted in improved catalytic performance. Ir0.7Ru0.3O2 was identified as the most promising electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction. Keywords: