Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

pp 1475-1480


Oxygen Evolution Reaction

  • Marcel RischAffiliated withMIT Email author 
  • , Jin SuntivichAffiliated withCornell University
  • , Yang Shao-HornAffiliated withMIT


Oxygen evolution Water oxidation Water splitting


The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is an enabler of several technological applications. In energy storage, these include regenerative fuel cells (see entry Fuel Cells, Principles and Thermodynamics), electrolyzers, metal-air batteries, and solar-driven water-splitting devices. Traditional metal refinery techniques such as electro-deposition (see entry Electrodepositio​n of Electronic Materials for Applications in Macroelectronic- and Nanotechnology-Based Devices), electro-synthesis, and electro-refining also generally involve the OER on the anode. In addition, the OER is central to natural photosynthesis in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria as well as artificial photosynthesis. Due to the ubiquitous nature of the OER, numerous efforts from chemists, physicists, biologists, and engineers have been made to understand the OER mechanism, as mastery of it holds the key to unlocking fundamental mechanism of oxygen chemistry and strategy to develop more cost-effective O ...

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