Rapid, reversible redox activity may be accomplished at significantly reduced temperatures, as low as about 200.degree. C., from epitaxially stabilized, oxygen vacancy ordered SrCoO.sub.2.5 and thermodynamically unfavorable perovskite SrCoO.sub.3-.delta.. The fast, low temperature redox activity in SrCoO.sub.3-.delta. may be attributed to a small Gibbs free energy difference between the two topotactic phases. Epitaxially stabilized thin films of strontium cobaltite provide a catalyst adapted to rapidly transition between oxidation states at substantially low temperatures. Methods of transitioning a strontium cobaltite catalyst from a first oxidation state to a second oxidation state are described.