Iridium oxide (IrOx)-based materials are the most suitable oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts for water electrolysis in acidic media. There is a strong demand from industry for improved performance and reduction of the Ir amount. Here, we report a composite catalyst, IrOx-TiO2-Ti (ITOT), with a high concentration of active OH species and mixed valence IrOx on its surface. We have discovered that the obtained ITOT catalyst shows an outstanding OER activity (1.43 V vs RHE at 10 mA cm-2) in acidic media. Moreover, no apparent potential increase was observed even after a chronopotentiometry test at 10 mA cm-2 for 100 h and cyclic voltammetry for 700 cycles. We proposed a detailed OER mechanism on the basis of the analysis of the in situ electrochemical X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) measurements as well as density functional theory (DFT) calculations. All together, we have concluded that controllable Ir-valence and the high OH concentration in the catalyst is crucial for the obtained high OER activity.
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