5 years ago

The influence of iridium chemical oxidation state on the performance and durability of oxygen evolution catalysts in PEM electrolysis

The influence of iridium chemical oxidation state on the performance and durability of oxygen evolution catalysts in PEM electrolysis
Nanosized Ir-black (3 nm) and Ir-oxide (5 nm) oxygen evolution electrocatalysts showing high performance in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolysis based on Aquivion® short-side chain ionomer membrane are investigated to understand the role of the Ir oxidation state on the electrocatalytic activity and stability. Despite the smaller mean crystallite size, the Ir-black electrocatalyst shows significantly lower initial performance than the Ir-oxide. During operation at high current density, the Ir-black shows a decrease of cell potential with time whereas the Ir-oxide catalyst shows increasing cell potential resulting in a degradation rate of about 10 μV/h, approaching 1000 h. The unusual behaviour of the Ir-black results from the oxidation of metallic Ir to IrOx. The Ir-oxide catalyst shows instead a hydrated structure on the surface and a negative shift of about 0.5 eV for the Ir 4f binding energy after 1000 h electrolysis operation. This corresponds to the formation of a sub-stoichiometric Ir-oxide on the surface. These results indicate that a hydrated IrO2 with high oxidation state on the surface is favourable in decreasing the oxygen evolution overpotential. Modifications of the Ir chemical oxidation state during operation can affect significantly the catalytic activity and durability of the electrolysis system.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0378775317311795

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