Sloughing a Precursor Layer to Expose Active Stainless Steel Catalyst for Water Oxidation

Minoh Lee, Michael Shincheon Jee, Seung Yeon Lee, Min Kyung Cho, Jae Pyoung Ahn, Hyung Suk Oh, Woong Kim, Yun Jeong Hwang, Byoung Koun Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen production by water electrolysis has been regarded as a promising approach to wean away from sourcing energy through fossil fuels, as the produced hydrogen gas can be converted to electrical or thermal energy without any harmful byproducts. However, an efficient hydrogen production is restricted by the sluggish oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at the counter anode. Therefore, the development of new OER catalysts with high catalytic activities is crucial for high performance water splitting. Here, we report a novel sloughing method for the fabrication of an efficient OER catalyst on a stainless steel (SS) surface. A chalcogenide (Fe-S) overlayer generated by sulfurization on the SS surface is found to play a critical role as a precursor layer in the formation of an active surface during water oxidation. Interestingly, a newly exposed catalytic layer after sloughing off the Fe-S overlayer has a nanoporous structure with changed elemental composition, resulting in a significant improvement in OER performance with an overpotential value of 267 mV at a current density of 10 mA cm-2 (in 1 M KOH). Our novel method for the preparation of OER catalyst provides an important insight into designing an efficient and stable electrocatalyst for the water splitting community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24499-24507
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 25


  • nanoporous
  • oxygen evolution
  • stainless steel
  • sulfurization
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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