Effective Promotion of Oxygen Reduction Reaction by in Situ Formation of Nanostructured Catalyst

Yu Chen, Seonyoung Yoo, Weilin Zhang, Jun Hyuk Kim, Yucun Zhou, Kai Pei, Nicholas Kane, Bote Zhao, Ryan Murphy, YongMan Choi*, Meilin Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Efficient electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are critical to high-performance energy conversion and storage devices. As an important family of functional materials, alkaline earth metal oxides are generally considered inert toward electrochemical reactions. Here we report the remarkable enhancement of ORR activity and durability of electrodes enabled by surface modification with a precursor of barium nitrate. During cell start-up process, an ORR active cobaltite catalyst was in situ formed on the electrode surface, as confirmed by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) analysis. A combination of in situ/operando Raman and electrochemical impedance study suggests that the transition from nitrate to cobaltite may occur at ∼565 °C. The peak power density of a single cell at 750 °C is increased from ∼0.85 to ∼1.15 W cm–2 (35% increase) by the surface modification, demonstrating the remarkable enhancement of electrocatalytic activity under realistic operating conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7137-7142
Number of pages6
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number8
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2019


  • barium cobaltite
  • fuel cells
  • nanoparticles
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • perovskite


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