The Effect of Material Properties on Oxygen Evolution Activity and Assessing Half-Cell Screening as a Predictive Tool in Electrolysis

Shaun Alia, Judith Manco, Grace Anderson, Katherine Hurst, Christopher Capuano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


Iridium-based oxygen evolution catalysts are screened in this study for activity and stability with rotating disk electrode (RDE) half-cells. This study focuses on the electrochemical and materials approaches needed to characterize oxygen evolution catalysts, and include testing for activity, stability, composition, oxide content, and structure. Findings also discuss recommendations for data interpretation and detail the difficulties of comparing catalysts across materials sets with different elemental and oxide compositions, and linking RDE activity to device-level performance. The materials evaluated are a mixture of oxides and metals, and several methods are used to quantify metal content, qualitatively assess oxide content, and determine total surface area. Oxygen evolution activities and stabilities are compared, where a wide range of results are reported. In general, higher RDE performances are found for catalysts that contained larger amounts of ruthenium and metals. Higher durability, however, is found for catalysts that only contained iridium and a higher proportion of oxides. Additionally, catalysts are evaluated for performance in membrane electrode assemblies to assess RDE as a predictive tool in electrolysis. While activity trends within individual material sets generally held between ex- and in-situ testing, RDE tends to overestimate the activity of more metallic catalysts when compared to device-level performance. These results stress the need for multiple metal/oxide baselines for mixed catalysts, to better project in-situ kinetics.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104503
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published on behalf of The Electrochemical Society by IOP Publishing Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-80046


  • electrolysis
  • low temperature electrolysis
  • nanomaterials
  • rotating disk electrode


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