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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Oct 6;132(39):13612-4. doi: 10.1021/ja104587v.

A bifunctional nonprecious metal catalyst for oxygen reduction and water oxidation.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-5025, USA.


There is a growing interest in oxygen electrochemistry as conversions between O(2) and H(2)O play an important role in a variety of renewable energy technologies. The goal of this work is to develop active bifunctional catalyst materials for water oxidation and oxygen reduction. Drawing inspiration from a cubane-like CaMn(4)O(x), the biological catalyst found in the oxygen evolving center (OEC) in photosystem II, nanostructured manganese oxide surfaces were investigated for these reactions. Thin films of nanostructured manganese oxide were found to be active for both oxygen reduction and water oxidation, with similar overall oxygen electrode activity to the best known precious metal nanoparticle catalysts: platinum, ruthenium, and iridium. Physical and chemical characterization of the nanostructured Mn oxide bifunctional catalyst reveals an oxidation state of Mn(III), akin to one of the most commonly observed Mn oxidation states found in the OEC.

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