Short-Range Ordered Iridium Single Atoms Integrated into Cobalt Oxide Spinel Structure for Highly Efficient Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation

Jieqiong Shan, Chao Ye, Shuangming Chen, Tulai Sun, Yan Jiao, L. M. Liu, Chongzhi Zhu, Li Song, Yu Han, Mietek Jaroniec, Yihan Zhu, Yao Zheng, Shi-Zhang Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

293 Scopus citations


Noble metals manifest themselves with unique electronic structures and irreplaceable activity toward a wide range of catalytic applications but are unfortunately restricted by limited choice of geometric structures spanning single atoms, clusters, nanoparticles, and bulk crystals. Herein, we propose how to overcome this limitation by integrating noble metal atoms into the lattice of transition metal oxides to create a new type of hybrid structure. This study shows that iridium single atoms can be accommodated into the cationic sites of cobalt spinel oxide with short-range order and an identical spatial correlation as the host lattice. The resultant Ir0.06Co2.94O4 catalyst exhibits much higher electrocatalytic activity than the parent oxide by 2 orders of magnitude toward the challenging oxygen evolution reaction under acidic conditions. Because of the strong interaction between iridium and cobalt oxide support, the Ir0.06Co2.94O4 catalyst shows significantly improved corrosion resistance under acidic conditions and oxidative potentials. This work eliminates the "close-packing" limitation of noble metals and offers promising opportunity to create analogues with desired topologies for various catalytic applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
StatePublished - Mar 25 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-29
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the Australian Research Council (FL170100154, DP160104866, and DP190103472). Y.H.Z. acknowledges financial support from Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LR18B030003), National Natural Science Foundation of China (51701181, 21771161), and the Thousand Talents Program for Distinguished Young Scholars. J.S. was supported by the Chinese CSC Scholarship Program. DFT computations were performed by using services offered from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and Phoenix High Performance Computing, which are supported by the Australian Government and the University of Adelaide. XAS measurements were conducted at the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (1W1B, BSRF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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