Mixed-metal oxyhydroxides—especially those of Ni and Fe—are one of the most active classes of materials known for catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Here, nanoparticulate mixed metal oxyhydroxides (of Ni, Fe, and Co) were prepared on an electrode surface by electrochemical reaction of a precursor solution encapsulated in aqueous nanodroplets (AnDs), with each of the droplets containing 10 s of attoliters of fluid. Electrode reactions and synthesis can be monitored in situ by electrochemistry as single AnD stochastically lands and interacts with the working electrode. Resultant metal oxyhydroxide nanoparticles can be size and composition controlled precisely by modulating the precursor solution stored in the AnD. Nanoparticulate metal oxyhydroxides were implemented as catalysts for the OER and exhibited superior catalysis compared to their thin-film counterparts, demonstrating a hundred-thousand-fold enhancement in atom efficiency at comparable turnover rates.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry