Chinese Journal of Catalysis ›› 2023, Vol. 50: 109-125.DOI: 10.1016/S1872-2067(23)64452-3

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Electrocatalytic water splitting over perovskite oxide catalysts

Yuannan Wang,1, Lina Wang,1, Kexin Zhang, Jingyao Xu, Qiannan Wu, Zhoubing Xie, Wei An, Xiao Liang(), Xiaoxin Zou*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, Jilin, China
  • Received:2023-03-28 Accepted:2023-05-08 Online:2023-07-18 Published:2023-07-25
  • Contact: *E-mail: (X. Zou), (X. Liang).
  • About author:Xiao Liang (State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, Jilin University) received her PhD in inorganic chemistry from Jilin University in 2021. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, Jilin University. Her research interests focus on the design of water splitting electrocatalysts, especially the acidic water oxidation electrocatalysts in proton exchange membrane water electrolysis application.
    Xiaoxin Zou (State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, Jilin University) has received his PhD in inorganic chemistry from Jilin University in June 2011, and then moved to the University of California, Riverside, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as a postdoctoral scholar from July 2011 to October 2013. He is currently a professor at the State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry in Jilin University. His research interests are in hydrogen energy materials chemistry, comprising the elucidation of the atomic basis for water splitting electrocatalysts, prediction and searching of efficient catalysts with novel crystal structures and preparative technology of industrial water splitting catalysts.

    1 Contributed equally to this work.

  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(2021YFB4000200);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21922507);National Natural Science Foundation of China(22179046);National Natural Science Foundation of China(22205072);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21621001);China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2021M701377);111 Project(B17020)


The urgent need for decarbonized hydrogen production to achieve carbon-neutral targets has highlighted the critical role of water electrolysis technology in advancing sustainability in various fields. However, the gap in economic efficiency between green hydrogen, generated by renewable electricity-driven water electrolysis, and gray hydrogen, generated by the consumption of fossil fuels, remains a challenge. Therefore, the exploration of cost-effective, active, and stable electrocatalysts toward water-splitting reactions is essential. Owing to their high-tolerance crystal structures, flexible elemental compositions, and adjustable electronic properties, perovskite oxides provide a vast material library for customizing next-generation electrocatalysts. Additionally, perovskite oxides are increasingly being developed into ideal model catalysts for unraveling scientific laws and theories, emphasizing the significance of investigating their important characteristics (e.g., structure-performance relationship, electronic property regulation, catalytic mechanism, and dynamic structural evolution). This review summarizes recent advances in perovskite oxides for water-splitting electrocatalysis, including their developmental history, compositional and structural diversities, structure-performance correlations, activity descriptors, catalytic mechanisms, and structural evolutions. We emphasize the importance of in situ characterization techniques for monitoring dynamic structural information and identifying important active species. Finally, we outline the opportunities and challenges of perovskite oxides for practical applications in water electrolysis, with the aim of providing further directions for exploring next-generation electrocatalysts.

Key words: Perovskite oxide, Water-splitting reaction, Electrocatalysis, Electronic structure, Catalytic mechanism