Atomically Dispersed Iridium on Indium Tin Oxide Efficiently Catalyzes Water Oxidation

Dmitry Lebedev, Roman Ezhov, Javier Heras-Domingo, Aleix Comas-Vives, Nicolas Kaeffer, Marc Willinger, Xavier Solans-Monfort, Xing Huang, Yulia Pushkar, Christophe Copéret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Heterogeneous catalysts in the form of atomically dispersed metals on a support provide the most efficient utilization of the active component, which is especially important for scarce and expensive late transition metals. These catalysts also enable unique opportunities to understand reaction pathways through detailed spectroscopic and computational studies. Here, we demonstrate that atomically dispersed iridium sites on indium tin oxide prepared via surface organometallic chemistry display exemplary catalytic activity in one of the most challenging electrochemical processes, the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). In situ X-ray absorption studies revealed the formation of IrV═O intermediate under OER conditions with an Ir-O distance of 1.83 Å. Modeling of the reaction mechanism indicates that IrV═O is likely a catalyst resting state, which is subsequently oxidized to IrVI enabling fast water nucleophilic attack and oxygen evolution. We anticipate that the applied strategy can be instrumental in preparing and studying a broad range of atomically dispersed transition metal catalysts on conductive oxides for (photo)electrochemical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1198
Number of pages10
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 22 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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