In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy of transition metal based water oxidation catalysts
X-ray absorption studies of the geometric and electronic structure of primarily heterogeneous Co, Ni, and Mn based water oxidation catalysts are reviewed. The X-ray absorption near edge and extended X-ray absorption fine structure studies of the metal K-edge, characterize the metal oxidation state, metal–oxygen bond distance, metal–metal distance, and degree of disorder of the catalysts. These properties guide the coordination environment of the transition metal oxide radical that localizes surface holes and is required to oxidize water. The catalysts are investigated both as-prepared, in their native state, and under reaction conditions, while transition metal oxide radicals are generated. The findings of many experiments are summarized in tables. The advantages of future X-ray experiments on water oxidation catalysts, which include the limited data available of the oxygen K-edge, metal L-edge, and resonant inelastic X-ray scattering, are discussed.