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The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources strongly depends on an availability of effective systems for energy conversion and storage. Considering hydrogen as a carrier molecule, proton exchange membrane electrolysis offers numerous advantages, like operation at high current densities, low gas crossover, compact system design etc. However, its wide implementation is hindered by slow kinetics of oxygen evolution reaction (OER), enhancement of which requires the application of low-abundant and expensive Ir-based electrocatalysts.

Looking for rational design of new types of OER electrocatalysts and addressing fundamental questions about the key reactions in energy conversion, the inter-institutional MPG-consortium MAXNET Energy integrated scientists from different institutions in Germany and abroad. As a result of close and fruitful collaboration within this framework, the scientists from Chemical Metal Science department at MPI CPfS together with experts from Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin and MPI CEC in Muelheim an der Ruhr, developed a new concept for producing multifunctionality in electrocatalysis and successfully illustrated it with an example of intermetallic compound Al2Pt as precursor for OER electrocatalyst material.

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Category: Science