Evaporated manganese films as a starting point for the preparation of thin-layer MnO: X water-oxidation anodes

Carolin E. Frey, Frances Kwok, Diego Gonzáles-Flores, Jonas Ohms, Kayla A. Cooley, Holger Dau, Ivelina Zaharieva, Timothy N. Walter, Hamed Simchi, Suzanne E. Mohney, Philipp Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A novel method to prepare anodes for water electrolysis cells has been developed, which starts from layers of elemental manganese deposited by physical vapour deposition (PVD) on indium-doped tin oxide (ITO). Oxidation in dry air at 300 °C transforms this metallic Mn layer into a manganese(ii)-rich MnOx coating (x = 1-1.3), which also contains a buried layer of an In-Sn alloy originating from reactions with the ITO support. The MnOx films are well connected to the underlying substrate and act as efficient catalysts for water-oxidation catalysis (WOC) at neutral pH. Detailed post-operando analyses using XRD, SEM, TEM and XAS revealed that the dense MnO/Mn3O4 film is virtually not affected by 2 h of electrochemical WOC at E ≈ +1.8 V vs. RHE, corresponding well to the observed good stability of catalytic currents, which is unusual for such thin layers of a MnOx catalyst. The current densities during electrolyses are so far low (i ≈ 50-100 μA cm-2 at pH 7), but optimization of the preparation process may allow for significant improvements. This new, rather easy, and adaptable preparation method for stable, thin-layer MnOx water-oxidation anodes could thus prove to be very useful for a variety of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1162-1170
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Energy and Fuels
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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