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Screening Bulk Solid-State Materials for HER and OER Catalysis in Acidic Solutions


Earth-abundant electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in neutral and alkaline conditions are well known, as are electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in highly acidic, neutral, and alkaline conditions.

Earth-abundant catalysts for the OER in highly acidic solutions, however, are rare, and new Earth-abundant acid-stable HER catalysts remain of interest.

Screening for new HER and OER electrocatalysts often utilizes high throughput methods that permit rapid testing of large numbers of materials. However, certain regions of phase space may remain inaccessible due to synthetic restrictions, including temperature and composition.

We have been working on complementary screening efforts that target crystalline materials made using high temperatures and/or reactive conditions. This presentation will introduce our recent efforts in screening millimeter-scale single crystals grown in metal fluxes, arc melted rods, and polycrystalline pellets for HER and OER activity in acidic solutions.

From these initial screening efforts, several promising HER and OER catalysts have been identified, including ruthenium-based phosphides and intermetallic alloys for the HER and intermetallic alloys comprised of 3d transition metals and tantalum for the OER.