Elucidating intrinsic contribution of d-orbital states to oxygen evolution electrocatalysis in oxides

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Although numerous studies on oxide catalysts for an efficient oxygen evolution reaction have been carried out to compare their catalytic performance and suggest new compositions, two significant constraints have been overlooked. One is the difference in electronic conduction behavior between catalysts (metallic versus insulating) and the other is the strong crystallographic surface orientation dependence of the catalysis in a crystal. Consequently, unless a comprehensive comparison of the oxygen-evolution catalytic activity between samples is made on a crystallographically identical surface with sufficient electron conduction, misleading interpretations on the catalytic performance and mechanism may be unavoidable. To overcome these limitations, we utilize both metallic (001) LaNiO3 epitaxial thin films together with metal dopants and semiconducting (001) LaCoO3 epitaxial thin films supported with a conductive interlayer. We identify that Fe, Cr, and Al are beneficial to enhance the catalysis in LaNiO3 although their perovskite counterparts, LaFeO3, LaCrO3, and LaAlO3, with a large bandgap are inactive. Furthermore, semiconducting LaCoO3 is found to have more than one order higher activity than metallic LaNiO3, in contrast to previous reports. Showing the importance of facilitating electron conduction, our work highlights the impact of the near-Fermi-level d-orbital states on the oxygen-evolution catalysis performance in perovskite oxides. Despite many studies on the oxygen-evolution perovskite-type electrocatalysts thus far, significant constraints prevent precise evaluations of catalytic activity. Here authors examine over 50 heteroepitaxial LaNiO3 and LaCoO3 (001) thin films to assess the intrinsic catalytic behaviors.
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NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v.12, no.1, pp.824

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MS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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