On the Mechanism of Heterogeneous Water Oxidation Catalysis: A Theoretical Perspective

Shanti Gopal Patra, Dan Meyerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Earth abundant transition metal oxides are low-cost promising catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Many transition metal oxides have shown higher OER activity than the noble metal oxides (RuO2 and IrO2). Many experimental and theoretical studies have been performed to understand the mechanism of OER. In this review article we have considered four earth abundant transition metal oxides, namely, titanium oxide (TiO2), manganese oxide/hydroxide (MnOx/MnOOH), cobalt oxide/hydroxide (CoOx/CoOOH), and nickel oxide/hydroxide (NiOx/NiOOH). The OER mechanism on three polymorphs of TiO2: TiO2 rutile (110), anatase (101), and brookite (210) are summarized. It is discussed that the surface peroxo O* intermediates formation required a smaller activation barrier compared to the dangling O* intermediates. Manganese-based oxide material CaMn4O5 is the active site of photosystem II where OER takes place in nature. The commonly known polymorphs of MnO2; α-(tetragonal), β-(tetragonal), and δ-(triclinic) are discussed for their OER activity. The electrochemical activity of electrochemically synthesized induced layer δ-MnO2 (EI-δ-MnO2) materials is discussed in comparison to precious metal oxides (Ir/RuOx). Hydrothermally synthesized α-MnO2 shows higher activity than δ-MnO2. The OER activity of different bulk oxide phases: (a) Mn3O4(001), (b) Mn2O3(110), and (c) MnO2(110) are comparatively discussed. Different crystalline phases of CoOOH and NiOOH are discussed considering different surfaces for the catalytic activity. In some cases, the effects of doping with other metals (e.g., doping of Fe to NiOOH) are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • DFT+U
  • cobalt oxide
  • heterogeneous OER
  • manganese oxide
  • nickel oxide
  • titanium oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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