Iridium oxide catalyst for hybrid electrochromic device based on tetramethylthiourea (TMTU) redox electrolyte
This work reports a study on sputter coated iridium oxide film as a counter electrode (CE) for the electrochemical catalysis of tetramethylthiourea/tetramethylformaminium disulfide (TMTU/TMFDS2+) redox reaction in electrochromic (EC) devices. The iridium oxide (IrOx) with the thickness of about 5 nm coated onto transparent conductive oxide, e.g., fluorine-doped tin oxide (F:SnO2), has shown excellent catalytic properties and excellent electrochromic cycling stability in EC device. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) results revealed that the charge transfer resistance (Rct) is mainly influenced by the oxygen flow rate during the sputtering process, and by the layer thickness. The IrOX films coated with low oxygen flow rate has shown a lower charge transfer resistance compared to the fully oxidized iridium oxide film. However, sub-stoichiometric layers are less transparent, and therefore less appropriate for the application. In this regard, fully oxidized and highly transparent (Tvisible = 86%) layer formed by the sputtering process at or above 50 sccm (standard cubic centimeters per minute) flow of oxygen having the thickness of 5 nm is used in EC devices. These layers have the Rct of 25 O cm2 at 1 V bias voltage for the redox electrolytes. The cyclic voltammetry technique has shown a typical quasi-reversible nature of redox electrolyte at the same IrOx coated electrode. An electrochromic test for 550 cycles demonstrates that 5 nm of IrOx is sufficient for the stabile EC window with TMTU/TMFDS2+ electrolyte.