RSC Adv. 2022 Aug 26;12(37):24427-24438. doi: 10.1039/d2ra04624e. eCollection 2022 Aug 22.
Catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are receiving great interest since OER remains the bottleneck of water electrolyzers for hydrogen production. Especially, OER in acidic solutions is crucial since it produces high current densities and avoids precipitation of carbonates. However, even the acid stable iridates undergo severe dissolution during the OER. BaIrO3 has the strongest IrO6 connectivity and stable surface structure, yet it suffers from lattice collapse after OER cycling, making it difficult to improve the OER durability. In the present study, we have successfully developed an OER catalyst with both high intrinsic activity and stability under acidic conditions by preventing the lattice collapse after repeated OER cycling. Specifically, we find that the substitution of Ir-site with Mn for BaIrO3 in combination with OER cycling leads to a remarkable activity enhancement by a factor of 28 and an overall improvement in stability. This dual enhancement of OER performance was accomplished by the novel strategy of slightly increasing the Ir-dissolution and balancing the elemental dissolution in BaIr1-x Mn x O3 to reconstruct a rigid surface with BaIrO3-type structure. More importantly, the mass activity for BaIr0.8Mn0.2O3 reached ∼73 times of that for IrO2, making it a sustainable and promising OER catalyst for energy conversion technologies.