Modifying redox properties and local bonding of Co3O4 by CeO2 enhances oxygen evolution catalysis in acid

Jinzhen Huang, Hongyuan Sheng, R. Dominic Ross, Jiecai Han, Xianjie Wang, Bo Song, Song Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

293 Scopus citations


AbstractDeveloping efficient and stable earth-abundant electrocatalysts for acidic oxygen evolution reaction is the bottleneck for water splitting using proton exchange membrane electrolyzers. Here, we show that nanocrystalline CeO2 in a Co3O4/CeO2 nanocomposite can modify the redox properties of Co3O4 and enhances its intrinsic oxygen evolution reaction activity, and combine electrochemical and structural characterizations including kinetic isotope effect, pH- and temperature-dependence, in situ Raman and ex situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses to understand the origin. The local bonding environment of Co3O4 can be modified after the introduction of nanocrystalline CeO2, which allows the Co$^{III}$ species to be easily oxidized into catalytically active Co$^{IV}$ species, bypassing the potential-determining surface reconstruction process. Co3O4/CeO2 displays a comparable stability to Co3O4 thus breaks the activity/stability tradeoff. This work not only establishes an efficient earth-abundant catalysts for acidic oxygen evolution reaction, but also provides strategies for designing more active catalysts for other reactions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 24 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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