Nickel Structures as a Template Strategy to Create Shaped Iridium Electrocatalysts for Electrochemical Water Splitting

Seongeun Park, Meital Shviro, Heinrich Hartmann, Astrid Besmehn, Joachim Mayer, Detlef Stolten, Marcelo Carmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Low-cost, highly active, and highly stable catalysts are desired for the generation of hydrogen and oxygen using water electrolyzers. To enhance the kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction in an acidic medium, it is of paramount importance to redesign iridium electrocatalysts into novel structures with organized morphology and high surface area. Here, we report on the designing of a well-defined and highly active hollow nanoframe based on iridium. The synthesis strategy was to control the shape of nickel nanostructures on which iridium nanoparticles will grow. After the growth of iridium on the surface, the next step was to etch the nickel core to form the NiIr hollow nanoframe. The etching procedure was found to be significant in controlling the hydroxide species on the iridium surface and by that affecting the performance. The catalytic performance of the NiIr hollow nanoframe was studied for oxygen evolution reaction and shows 29 times increased iridium mass activity compared to commercially available iridium-based catalysts. Our study provides novel insights to control the fabrication of iridium-shaped catalysts using 3d transition metal as a template and via a facile etching step to steer the formation of hydroxide species on the surface. These findings shall aid the community to finally create stable iridium alloys for polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyzers, and the strategy is also useful for many other electrochemical devices such as batteries, fuel cells, sensors, and solar organic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13576-13585
Number of pages10
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number11
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.S. thanks the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.


  • electrocatalysis
  • hollow nanoframe
  • iridium
  • nanoarchitectures
  • oxygen evolution reaction
  • structural evolution


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