Systematic Study of Oxygen Evolution Activity and Stability on La1–xSrxFeO3−δ Perovskite Electrocatalysts in Alkaline Media

Perovskite oxide is an attractive low-cost alternative catalyst for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) relative to the precious metal oxide-based electrocatalysts (IrO2 and RuO2). In this work, a series of Sr-doped La-based perovskite oxide catalysts with compositions of La1–xSrxFeO3−δ (x = 0, 0.2, 0.5, 0.8, and 1) are synthesized and characterized. The OER-specific activities in alkaline solution increase in the order of LaFeO3−δ (LF), La0.8Sr0.2FeO3−δ (LSF-0.2), La0.5Sr0.5FeO3−δ (LSF-0.5), SrFeO3−δ (SF), and La0.2Sr0.8FeO3−δ (LSF-0.8). We establish a direct correlation between the enhancement in the specific activity and the amount of surface oxygen vacancies as well as the surface Fe oxidation states. The improved specific activity for LSF-0.8 is clearly linked to the optimum amount of surface oxygen vacancies and surface Fe oxidation states. We also find that the OER performance stability is a function of the crystal structure and the deviation in the surface La and/or Sr composition(s) from their bulk stoichiometric compositions. The cubic structure and lower deviation, as is the case for LSF-0.8, led to a higher OER performance stability. These surface performance relations provide a promising guideline for constructing efficient water oxidation.