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Title: Electrochemical trapping of metastable Mn 3+ ions for activation of MnO 2 oxygen evolution catalysts

Electrodeposited manganese oxide films are promising catalysts for promoting the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), especially in acidic solutions. The activity of these catalysts is known to be enhanced by the introduction of Mn 3+. We present in situ electrochemical and X-ray absorption spectroscopic studies, which reveal that Mn 3+ may be introduced into MnO 2 by an electrochemically induced comproportionation reaction with Mn 2+ and that Mn 3+ persists in OER active films. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra of the Mn 3+-activated films indicate a decrease in the Mn–O coordination number, and Raman microspectroscopy reveals the presence of distorted Mn–O environments. Computational studies show that Mn 3+ is kinetically trapped in tetrahedral sites and in a fully oxidized structure, consistent with the reduction of coordination number observed in EXAFS. Although in a reduced state, computation shows that Mn 3+ states are stabilized relative to those of oxygen and that the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) is thus dominated by oxygen states. Furthermore, the Mn 3+(T d) induces local strain on the oxide sublattice as observed in Raman spectra and results in a reduced gap between the HOMO and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO). As a result, themore » confluence of a reduced HOMO–LUMO gap and oxygen-based HOMO results in the facilitation of OER on the application of anodic potentials to the δ-MnO 2 polymorph incorporating Mn 3+ ions.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  3. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  4. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Stanford Univ., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  5. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  6. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; AC02-76SF00515; 1541959
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
08 HYDROGEN; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; manganese oxide; polymorph; water splitting; catalysis; renewable energy storage
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1438083