268771 Investigation of Surface Oxidation State and Oxygen Evolution Activity of Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles
The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a key energy conversion reaction in a number of clean energy technologies, including rechargeable metal-air batteries, electrolysis cells, and solar fuel synthesis. Widespread commercialization of these technologies is desirable but limited by the scarcity and high cost of the best known catalysts for OER, ruthenium and iridium oxides.1 In search of replacements for these active precious metal oxides, recent research has focused on earth-abundant catalysts such as manganese oxides (MnOx)2-4 and cobalt oxides.5-7 Interestingly, OER on both manganese and cobalt oxides has been shown to vary with the nature of underlying support, but the possible effect of the support on the oxidation state of the oxide and the corresponding catalytic activity has not yet been determined.4,6
In our work, we prepare MnOx nanoparticles on a variety of supports and characterize the oxidation state of Mn using ex-situ L-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy both before and after catalysis. We find that the support has an effect on both the initial oxidation state of Mn and the extent of the oxidation of Mn after the application of OER relevant potentials. Characterization of OER activity of MnOx nanoparticles reveals that supports which favor incomplete oxidation of MnOx nanoparticles to a mixed Mn (III, IV) oxide phase produce a more active OER catalyst than supports which favor oxidation of MnOx nanoparticles to MnO2.
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