Construction of hydroxide pn junction for water splitting electrocatalysis

Ye Zeng, Zhen Cao, Jizhang Liao, Hanfeng Liang, Binbin Wei, Xun Xu, Haiwang Xu, Jiaxian Zheng, Weijie Zhu, Luigi Cavallo, Zhoucheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


NiFe oxyhydroxide (NiFe−OH) has shown promising electrocatalytic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity. Here we suggest that the performance of NiFe−OH can be further enhanced by constructing pn junction. Using MnCo carbonate hydroxide (MnCo−CH)@NiFe−OH pn junction as a demonstration, we show that upon the construction of pn junction, the electrons flow from n-type NiFe−OH to MnCo−CH, which consequently generates a positively charged region on NiFe−OH. The density function theory calculation reveals that such an electronic property change results in an improved OER energetics. As a result, the MnCo−CH@NiFe−OH pn junction shows significantly enhanced OER performance that is ∼10 and ∼500 times that of NiFe−OH and MnCo−CH (in terms of the OER currents at the overpotential of 270 mV), respectively. Moreover, the pn junction also shows a greatly boosted hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and therefore the overall water electrolysis activity that outperforms the Pt/C||RuO2 catalysts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120160
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - Mar 19 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-04-06
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 22075236, 22001081).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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