Due to the enormous demand for clean energy generation and for efficient energy storage, developing green and storable energy has become an urgent task. This subject, thus, stimulates studies on the improvement of new electrocatalysts. Specifically, through improving the population of active sites and/or the activity of individual sites, the performance of the catalysts can be significantly improved. However, clarifying the contribution of these two factors is still ambiguous and must be done with great care. To allow researchers in related fields to present their findings objectively, having a clear insight into the electrocatalytic activity is indispensable. In this study, a series of cobalt-based pre-electrocatalysts are taken as an example to examine their corresponding oxygen evolution reaction (OER) behaviors. Wherein, the three important metrics – electrochemical active surface area (ECSA)/roughness factor (RF), Tafel slope, and turnover frequency (TOF) – are used to profile the population of active sites of electrocatalysts and the activity of related individual sites. The results indicate the correction of OER behavior by ECSA/RF manifests the more accurate identification of OER activity. Meanwhile, the timing to obtain RF/ECSA significantly influence such an evaluation. Altogether, a fair benchmarking is proposed for the comparison between the activities of electrocatalysts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry