Electrocatalytic oxygen generation using SrRuO3 thin films

For generation of sustainable, clean and highly efficient energy, the electrocatalytic oxygen evolution reaction represents an attractive platform, thus inviting immense research activities in recent years. However, designing the catalyst with enhanced electrocatalytic activity remains one of the major challenges. Here, we examined the oxygen evolution reaction activities of geometrically designed (with and without step-textured morphology) thin films of an electrocatalytically active correlated metallic SrRuO3 perovskite grown on c- and r-plane sapphire substrates. On c-plane sapphire, as compared to the uniform surface, the step-textured films endowed with active Ru-sites show remarkable decrease in the overpotential (~25 mV). Interestingly, the behavior is opposite for the r-plane case, highlighting the significance of the active sites, in addition with the polar surface termination of selective crystal facets. Density functional theory calculation confirms the favorable energy reaction pathway for the active site dependent enhancement in OER. Our strategy might pave the way towards designing the surfaces of various oxide thin films for high performance energy conversion based devices.

Title: Enhanced electrocatalytic oxygen evolution activity in geometrically designed SrRuO3 thin films

Journal: Applied Surface Science 2020, 529, 1470652


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