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Ir-Ni Bimetallic OER Catalysts Prepared by Controlled Ni Electrodeposition on Irpoly and Ir(111)

Özer, Ebru; Sinev, Ilya; Mingers, Andrea; Araujo, Jorge; Kropp, Thomas; Mavrikakis, Manos; Mayrhofer, Karl; Cuenya, Beatriz; Strasser, Peter

The alteration of electrocatalytic surfaces with adatoms lead to structural and electronic modifications promoting adsorption, desorption, and reactive processes. This study explores the potentiostatic electrodeposition process of Ni onto polycrystalline Ir (Irpoly) and assesses the electrocatalytic properties of the resulting bimetallic surfaces. The electrodeposition resulted in bimetallic Ni overlayer (OL) structures and in combination with controlled thermal post-deposition annealing in bimetallic near-surface alloys (NSA). The catalytic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity of these two different Ni-modified catalysts is assessed and compared to a pristine, unmodified Irpoly. An overlayer of Ni on Irpoly showed superior performance in both acidic and alkaline milieu. The reductive annealing of the OL produced a NSA of Ni, which demonstrated enhanced stability in an acidic environment. The remarkable activity and stability improvement of Ir by Ni modification makes both systems efficient electrocatalysts for water oxidation. The roughness factor of Irpoly is also reported. With the amount of deposited Ni determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and a degree of coverage (monolayer) in the dependence of deposition potential is established. The density functional theory (DFT) assisted evaluation of H adsorption on Irpoly enables determination of the preferred Ni deposition sites on the three low-index surfaces (111), (110), and (100).
Published in: Surfaces, 10.3390/surfaces1010013, MDPI