Authors: Retuerto, M; Pascual, L; Calle-Vallejo, F; Ferrer, P; Gianolio, D; Pereira, AG; Garcia, A; Torrero, J; Fernandez-Diaz, MT; Bencok, P; Pena, MA; Fierro, JLG; Rojas, S

Nat. Commun.. vol: 10. page: 2041-1723.
Date: may-03. 2019.
Doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09791-w.

The design of active and durable catalysts for the H2O/O-2 interconversion is one of the major challenges of electrocatalysis for renewable energy. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is catalyzed by SrRuO3 with low potentials (ca. 1.35 V-RHE), but the catalyst’s durability is insufficient. Here we show that Na doping enhances both activity and durability in acid media. DFT reveals that whereas SrRuO3 binds reaction intermediates too strongly, Na doping of similar to 0.125 leads to nearly optimal OER activity. Na doping increases the oxidation state of Ru, thereby displacing positively O p-band and Ru d-band centers, weakening Ru-adsorbate bonds. The enhanced durability of Na-doped perovskites is concomitant with the stabilization of Ru centers with slightly higher oxidation states, higher dissolution potentials, lower surface energy and less distorted RuO6 octahedra. These results illustrate how high OER activity and durability can be simultaneously engineered by chemical doping of perovskites..