Alexis Grimaud, Kevin J. May, Christopher E. Carlton, Yueh-Lin Lee, Marcel Risch, Wesley T. Hong, Jigang Zhou & Yang Shao-Horn
The electronic structure of transition metal oxides governs the catalysis of many central reactions for energy storage applications such as oxygen electrocatalysis. Here we exploit the versatility of the perovskite structure to search for oxide catalysts that are both active and stable. We report double perovskites (Ln0.5Ba0.5)CoO3−δ (Ln=Pr, Sm, Gd and Ho) as a family of highly active catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction upon water oxidation in alkaline solution. These double perovskites are stable unlike pseudocubic perovskites with comparable activities such as Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3−δ which readily amorphize during the oxygen evolution reaction. The high activity and stability of these double perovskites can be explained by having the O p-band centre neither too close nor too far from the Fermi level, which is computed from ab initio studies.