Lattice oxygen activation enabled by high-valence metal sites for enhanced water oxidation

Ning Zhang, Xiaobin Feng, Dewei Rao, Xi Deng, Lejuan Cai, Bocheng Qiu, Ran Long, Yujie Xiong, Yang Lu, Yang Chai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

296 Citations (Scopus)


Anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is recognized as kinetic bottleneck in water electrolysis. Transition metal sites with high valence states can accelerate the reaction kinetics to offer highly intrinsic activity, but suffer from thermodynamic formation barrier. Here, we show subtle engineering of highly oxidized Ni4+ species in surface reconstructed (oxy)hydroxides on multicomponent FeCoCrNi alloy film through interatomically electronic interplay. Our spectroscopic investigations with theoretical studies uncover that Fe component enables the formation of Ni4+ species, which is energetically favored by the multistep evolution of Ni2+→Ni3+→Ni4+. The dynamically constructed Ni4+ species drives holes into oxygen ligands to facilitate intramolecular oxygen coupling, triggering lattice oxygen activation to form Fe-Ni dual-sites as ultimate catalytic center with highly intrinsic activity. As a result, the surface reconstructed FeCoCrNi OER catalyst delivers outstanding mass activity and turnover frequency of 3601 A gmetal−1 and 0.483 s−1 at an overpotential of 300 mV in alkaline electrolyte, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4066
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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