Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Chem. 2011 Jun 12;3(7):546-50. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1069.

Design principles for oxygen-reduction activity on perovskite oxide catalysts for fuel cells and metal-air batteries.

Author information

Materials Science and Engineering Department and Electrochemical Energy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 31-056, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Erratum in

  • Nat Chem. 2011;3(8):647.


The prohibitive cost and scarcity of the noble-metal catalysts needed for catalysing the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells and metal-air batteries limit the commercialization of these clean-energy technologies. Identifying a catalyst design principle that links material properties to the catalytic activity can accelerate the search for highly active and abundant transition-metal-oxide catalysts to replace platinum. Here, we demonstrate that the ORR activity for oxide catalysts primarily correlates to σ-orbital (e(g)) occupation and the extent of B-site transition-metal-oxygen covalency, which serves as a secondary activity descriptor. Our findings reflect the critical influences of the σ orbital and metal-oxygen covalency on the competition between O(2)(2-)/OH(-) displacement and OH(-) regeneration on surface transition-metal ions as the rate-limiting steps of the ORR, and thus highlight the importance of electronic structure in controlling oxide catalytic activity.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center