Breaking OER and CER scaling relations via strain and its relaxation in RuO2 (101)

Prajwal Adiga, William Nunn, Cindy Wong, Anusha K. Manjeshwar, Sreejith Nair, Bharat Jalan, Kelsey A. Stoerzinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Green hydrogen production from abundant water sources is an important component of renewable energy storage. Water oxidation catalysts are typically considered bound by adsorbate scaling relations, limiting their activity for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) as well as selectivity between OER and the chlorine evolution reaction (CER) that compete in saline water streams. RuO2 is highly active for both reactions, and recent measurements have shown that the OER activity is greater on undercoordinated, high index facets compared to the lowest energy (110) facet often studied. The growth of such orientations as epitaxial films, however, can result in appreciable strain and potential surface faceting via its relaxation. We find the activity and selectivity toward OER and CER vary with thickness in epitaxial (101) RuO2 thin films: OER activity decreases four times as film thickness increases from 8 nm to 48 nm, while CER activity is comparable. Thus, strain and its relaxation can be used to break scaling relationships between OER and CER, highlighting the important role that defects play in selective oxidation processes on RuO2 in chloride-containing media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101087
Pages (from-to)101087
JournalMaterials Today Energy
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2041153 . P.A. acknowledges support from the Link Foundation Energy Fellowship. K.A.S. acknowledges support from Oregon State University as a Callahan Faculty Scholar. The work at the UMN was supported primarily by the National Science Foundation through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under Award Number DMR-2011401 . A.K.M and W.N. acknowledge support from the U.S. DOE through DE-SC002021 and Air Force Office of Scientific Research ( AFOSR ) through Grants FA9550-21-1-0025 , respectively. Part of this work was also carried out in the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota , which has received capital equipment funding from the NSF through the UMN MRSEC program. W. N. also acknowledges support from the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Chlorine evolution reaction
  • Defects
  • Epitaxial thin films
  • Oxygen evolution reaction
  • Rutile

MRSEC Support

  • Partial


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