Electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction: recent development and future perspectives
There is still an ongoing effort to search for sustainable, clean and highly efficient energy generation to satisfy the energy needs of modern society. Among various advanced technologies, electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a key role and numerous new electrocatalysts have been developed to improve the efficiency of gas evolution. Along the way, enormous effort has been devoted to finding high-performance electrocatalysts, which has also stimulated the invention of new techniques to investigate the properties of materials or the fundamental mechanism of the OER. This accumulated knowledge not only establishes the foundation of the mechanism of the OER, but also points out the important criteria for a good electrocatalyst based on a variety of studies. Even though it may be difficult to include all cases, the aim of this review is to inspect the current progress and offer a comprehensive insight toward the OER. This review begins with examining the theoretical principles of electrode kinetics and some measurement criteria for achieving a fair evaluation among the catalysts. The second part of this review acquaints some materials for performing OER activity, in which the metal oxide materials build the basis of OER mechanism while non-oxide materials exhibit greatly promising performance toward overall water-splitting. Attention of this review is also paid to in situ approaches to electrocatalytic behavior during OER, and this information is crucial and can provide efficient strategies to design perfect electrocatalysts for OER. Finally, the OER mechanism from the perspective of both recent experimental and theoretical investigations is discussed, as well as probable strategies for improving OER performance with regards to future developments.