Improving the oxygen evolution reaction using electronic structure modulation of sulfur-retaining nickel-based electrocatalysts

Man Ho Han, Min Wook Pin, Jai Hyun Koh, Jong Hyeok Park, Jihyun Kim, Byoung Koun Min, Woong Hee Lee, Hyung Suk Oh

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The sulfurization of transition metals is a promising method for improving their catalytic activities in the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). However, experimental studies regarding the effects of undissolved, remaining S are rare. Herein, we experimentally elucidate the influence of S in an Ni-based material in enhancing the OER performance. The Fe- and Co-doped sulfurized Ni catalyst prepared using a simple impregnation method with heating under an H2S atmosphere exhibited superior OER activity (271.2 mV at 10 mA cm-2) compared to that of the non-sulfurized analogues while S remained. In situ/operando Raman and X-ray absorption spectroscopy revealed that S at the outermost surface dissolved and accelerated the regeneration of the NiOOH phase during the OER. The remaining S increased the Ni-O bond length of the regenerated NiOOH, thus boosting the OER catalytic activity. These findings provide an understanding of sulfurized catalysts and new perspectives in the development of materials for use in the OER.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27034-27040
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) institutional program, “Next Generation Carbon Upcycling Project” (Project No. 2020M1A2A6079141) and “Carbon to X Project” (Project No. 2020M3H7A1098229) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea. This work was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2021R1A2C2093467). We also acknowledge Advanced Analysis Center at KIST for the TEM and Raman measurements. We wish to thank 1D XRS KIST-PAL beamline for measuring the hard X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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