Atomistic Insights into Activation and Degradation of La0.6Sr0.4CoO3-δElectrocatalysts under Oxygen Evolution Conditions

Moritz L. Weber*, Gaurav Lole, Attila Kormanyos, Alexander Schwiers, Lisa Heymann, Florian D. Speck, Tobias Meyer, Regina Dittmann, Serhiy Cherevko, Christian Jooss, Christoph Baeumer, Felix Gunkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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The stability of perovskite oxide catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a critical role in their applicability in water splitting concepts. Decomposition of perovskite oxides under applied potential is typically linked to cation leaching and amorphization of the material. However, structural changes and phase transformations at the catalyst surface were also shown to govern the activity of several perovskite electrocatalysts under applied potential. Hence, it is crucial for the rational design of durable perovskite catalysts to understand the interplay between the formation of active surface phases and stability limitations under OER conditions. In the present study, we reveal a surface-dominated activation and deactivation mechanism of the prominent electrocatalyst La0.6Sr0.4CoO3-δ under steady-state OER conditions. Using a multiscale microscopy and spectroscopy approach, we identify the evolving Co-oxyhydroxide as catalytically active surface species and La-hydroxide as inactive species involved in the transient degradation behavior of the catalyst. While the leaching of Sr results in the formation of mixed surface phases, which can be considered as a part of the active surface, the gradual depletion of Co from a self-assembled active CoO(OH) phase and the relative enrichment of passivating La(OH)3 at the electrode surface result in the failure of the perovskite catalyst under applied potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17966-17979
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022


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