Atomic Sulfur Filling Oxygen Vacancies Optimizes H Absorption and Boosts the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction in Alkaline Media

Jing Jin, Jie Yin, Hongbo Liu, Bolong Huang (Corresponding Author), Yang Hu, Hong Zhang, Mingzi Sun, Yong Peng, Pinxian Xi, Chun Hua Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) usually has sluggish kinetics in alkaline solution due to the difficulty in forming binding protons. Herein we report an electrocatalyst in which sulfur atoms are doping in the oxygen vacancies (VO) of inverse spinel NiFe2O4 (S-NiFe2O4) to create active sites with enhanced electron transfer capability. This electrocatalyst has an ultralow overpotential of 61 mV at the current density of 10 mA cm−2 and long-term stability of 60 h at 1.0 Acm−2 in 1.0 M KOH media. In situ Raman spectroscopy revealed that S sites adsorb hydrogen adatom (H*) and in situ form S-H*, which favor the production of hydrogen and boosts HER in alkaline solution. DFT calculations further verified that S introduction lowered the energy barrier of H2O dissociation. Both experimental and theoretical investigations confirmed S atoms are active sites of the S-NiFe2O4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14117-14123
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021


  • electrocatalysis
  • H* intermediate
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • sulfur
  • surface reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this