Gd-induced electronic structure engineering of a NiFe-layered double hydroxide for efficient oxygen evolution

Meng Li, Hao Li, Xuechun Jiang, Mengqi Jiang, Xun Zhan, Gengtao Fu*, Jong Min Lee, Yawen Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Rare earth (RE) elements have drawn increased attention recently as an effective promoter in electrocatalysis because of their partially filled 4f orbitals. Herein, a new type of RE hybrid electrocatalyst, consisting of a gadolinium-doped hierarchal NiFe-layered double hydroxidein situgrown on carbon cloth (Gd-NiFe-LDH@CC), is designed and developedviaa facile one-step hydrothermal approach. The Gd doping regulates the electronic structure of NiFe-LDH and increases the number of oxygen vacancies, thus tuning the adsorption energies of oxygen intermediate species (e.g.HOO*). With the presence of Gd species, Gd-NiFe-LDH@CC exhibits superior electrocatalytic activity for the OER in an alkaline medium, which requires an overpotential of only 210 mV to afford 10 mA cm−2current density, better than that of NiFe-LDH@CC (250 mV) and commercial RuO2(298 mV). The robust electrocatalytic stability and satisfactory selectivity (nearly 100% Faraday efficiency) of Gd-NiFe-LDH@CC for the OER are also demonstrated. We ascribe such outstanding OER performance of Gd-NiFe-LDH@CC to the optimized electronic structure, rich oxygen vacancies and hierarchal porous morphology. Theoretical calculation further demonstrates that the electronic disturbance caused by Gd doping enhances the activity of Ni sites, resulting in stronger binding strength of HOO* at the Ni sites during the OER.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2999-3006
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the AcRF Tier 1 grant (RG105/19), provided by the Ministry of Education in Singapore, and National Natural Science Foundation of China (21875112). The authors are also grateful for the support from the National and Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Biomedical Functional Materials and a project sponsored by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.


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