Asymmetry of Multi-electron Transfer Kinetics in Oxygen Electrocatalysis and its Application for Highly Active Catalyst Design

Technology #14882

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Electrochemical Methods and Systems Using Catalytic Materials
Professor Yang Shao-Horn
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
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Jin Suntivich
Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT
Kevin May
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Hubert Gasteiger
Department of Chemistry, Technishe Universitat Munchen
John Goodenough
Texas Materials Institute, University of Texas at Austin
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Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
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Electrochemical Methods and Systems Using Catalytic Materials

US Patent Pending 2013-0020207
A Perovskite Oxide Optimized for Oxygen Evolution Catalysis from Molecular Orbital Principles
Science, 9 December 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6061 pp. 1383-1385

Inexpensive catalysts for splitting water to hydrogen and oxygen.


Applications include hydrogen fuel cells and solar-driven water splitting electrolyzer.

Problem Addressed

This technology overcomes these current problems:

  • Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are two limiting processes that each contributes to ~0.4 V loss.
  • Cost and scarcity of noble metal oxide catalysts is prohibitive for practice applications.


The invention describes a method to design efficient, abundant, non-precious-metal catalysts for OER. The design principle looks to develop a more active OER catalyst by engineering the eg filling to a value of ~1.3-1.4. With proper understanding, tuning surface electronic features like the transition metal eg filling is a promising strategy to develop highly active non-precious-metal containing oxide catalysts that can have higher activity than state-of-the-art precious metal-containing material.


  • Highly active non-precious-metal containing oxide catalysts for O2 electrocatalysis
  • Step toward implementation of hydrogen-based renewable energy
  • More cost-effective