The origin of magnetization-caused increment in water oxidation

Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 29;14(1):2482. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38212-2.


Magnetization promoted activity of magnetic catalysts towards the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) has attracted great attention, but remains a puzzle where the increment comes from. Magnetization of a ferromagnetic material only changes its magnetic domain structure. It does not directly change the spin orientation of unpaired electrons in the material. The confusion is that each magnetic domain is a small magnet and theoretically the spin-polarization promoted OER already occurs on these magnetic domains, and thus the enhancement should have been achieved without magnetization. Here, we demonstrate that the enhancement comes from the disappeared domain wall upon magnetization. Magnetization leads to the evolution of the magnetic domain structure, from a multi-domain one to a single domain one, in which the domain wall disappears. The surface occupied by the domain wall is reformatted into one by a single domain, on which the OER follows the spin-facilitated pathways and thus the overall increment on the electrode occurs. This study fills the missing gap for understanding the spin-polarized OER and it further explains the type of ferromagnetic catalysts which can give increment by magnetization.

PMID:37120590 | PMC:PMC10148796 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-38212-2


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