Nanoporous iridium electrodes are prepared and electrochemically investigated towards the water oxidation (oxygen evolution) reaction. The preparation is based on ‘anodic’ aluminum oxide templates, which provide straight, cylindrical nanopores. Their walls are coated using atomic layer deposition (ALD) with a newly developed reaction which results in a metallic iridium layer. The ALD film growth is quantified by spectroscopic ellipsometry and X-ray reflectometry. The morphology and composition of the electrodes are characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Their catalytic activity is quantified for various pore geometries by cyclic voltammetry, steady-state electrolysis, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. With an optimal pore length of L≈17–20 μm, we achieve current densities of J=0.28 mA cm−2 at pH 5 and J=2.4 mA cm−2 at pH 1. This platform is particularly competitive for achieving moderate current densities at very low overpotentials, that is, for a high degree of reversibility in energy storage.
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