Efficient catalysis of the oxygen-evolution half-reaction (OER) is a pivotal requirement for the development of practical solar-driven water splitting devices. Heterogeneous OER electrocatalysts containing first-row transition metal oxides and hydroxides have attracted considerable recent interest, owing in part to the high abundance and low cost of starting materials. Among the best performing OER electrocatalysts are mixed Fe/Ni layered double hydroxides (LDH). A review of the available experimental data leads to the conclusion that iron is the active site for [NiFe]-LDH-catalyzed alkaline water oxidation.
Abstract An alternative to conventional “cut-and-sew” cartilage surgery, electromechanical reshaping (EMR) is a molecular-based modality in which an array of needle electrodes is inserted into cartilage held under mechanical deformation by a jig. Brief (ca. 2 min) application of an electrochemical potential at the water-oxidation limit results in permanent reshaping of the specimen. Highly sulfated glycosaminoglycans within the cartilage matrix provide structural rigidity to the tissue through extensive ionic-bonding networks; this matrix is highly permselective for cations. Our studies indicate that EMR results from electrochemical generation of localized, low-pH gradients within the tissue: fixed negative charges in the proteoglycan matrix are protonated, resulting in chemically induced stress relaxation of the tissue. Re-equilibration to physiological pH restores the fixed negative charges, and yields remodeled cartilage that retains a new shape approximated by the geometry of the reshaping jig.
Bismuth vanadate is a promising photoanode material, but recent reports on undoped BiVO4 without sublayers and co-catalysts showed large variations in photocurrent generation. We addressed this issue by correlating photoelectrochemical performance with physical properties. We devised a novel anodic electrodeposition procedure with iodide added to the aqueous plating bath, which allowed us to prepare BiVO4 photoanodes with virtually identical thicknesses but different morphologies, and we could control surface Bi content. Morphologies were quantified from SEM images as distributions of crystallite areas and aspect-ratio-normalised diameters, and their statistical moments were derived. We could obtain clear photocurrent generation trends only from bivariate data analysis. Our experimental evidence suggests that a combination of low Bi/V ratio, small aspect-ratio-normalised diameters, and crystallites sizes that were small enough to provide efficient charge separation yet sufficiently large to prevent mass transport limitations led to highest photoelectrochemical performance.