Highly efficient oxygen evolution reaction via facile bubble transport realized by three-dimensionally stack-printed catalysts

Ye Ji Kim, Ahyoun Lim, Jong Min Kim, Donghoon Lim, Keun Hwa Chae, Eugene N. Cho, Hyeuk Jin Han, Ki Ung Jeon, Moohyun Kim, Gun Ho Lee, Gyu Rac Lee, Hyun S. Ahn, Hyun S. Park, Hyoungsoo Kim, Jin Young Kim, Yeon Sik Jung

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Despite highly promising characteristics of three-dimensionally (3D) nanostructured catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWEs), universal design rules for maximizing their performance have not been explored. Here we show that woodpile (WP)-structured Ir, consisting of 3D-printed, highly-ordered Ir nanowire building blocks, improve OER mass activity markedly. The WP structure secures the electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) through enhanced utilization efficiency of the extended surface area of 3D WP catalysts. Moreover, systematic control of the 3D geometry combined with theoretical calculations and various electrochemical analyses reveals that facile transport of evolved O2 gas bubbles is an important contributor to the improved ECSA-specific activity. The 3D nanostructuring-based improvement of ECSA and ECSA-specific activity enables our well-controlled geometry to afford a 30-fold higher mass activity of the OER catalyst when used in a single-cell PEMWE than conventional nanoparticle-based catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4921
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Global Frontier Program through the Global Frontier Hybrid Interface Materials (GFHIM) (2013M3A6B1078874) and by the Hydrogen Energy Innovation Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT)) (2019M3E6A1063674). This work was also supported by the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center and by the KIST Institutional Program (2E30380). We are grateful to Dr. Yonghee Lee and Dr. Chi Won Ahn (National NanoFab Center) for DLS measurements.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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