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Research Article | Open Access

Surface reconstruction establishing Mott–Schottky heterojunction and built-in space-charging effect accelerating oxygen evolution reaction

Yao Kang1,§Shuo Wang1,§Kwan San Hui2( )Shuxing Wu3Duc Anh Dinh4Xi Fan5Feng Bin6Fuming Chen7Jianxin Geng8Weng-Chon (Max) Cheong9( )Kwun Nam Hui1( )
Joint Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education, Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau 999078, China
Engineering, Faculty of Science, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
School of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
NTT hi-tech institute, Nguyen Tat Thanh university, Ho Chi Minh city 700000, Vietnam
Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology, Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201, China
State Key Laboratory of High-Temperature Gas Dynamics, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100190, China
State Key Laboratory of Optic Information Physics and Technologies, School of Physics and Telecommunication Engineering, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
State Key Laboratory of Organic-Inorganic Composites, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 15 North Third Ring East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
Department of Physics and Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Macau, Taipa, Macao 999078, China

§ Yao Kang and Shuo Wang contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

The F anion leaching facilitates surface reconstruction and induces a space-charge effect on the p–n junction interface, which not only promotes the absorption of intermediates species and charge-transfer process during catalysis, but also leads to a strong interaction of the p–n junction interface to stabilize the materials.


Structural reconstruction of nanomaterials offers a fantastic way to regulate the electronic structure of active sites and promote their catalytic activities. However, how to properly facilitate surface reconstruction to overcome large overpotential that stimulate the surface reconstruction has remained elusive. Herein, we adopt a facile approach to activate surface reconstruction on Ni(OH)2 by incorporating F anions to achieve electro-derived structural oxidation process and further boost its oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity. Ex situ Raman and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy studies indicate that F ions incorporation facilitated surface reconstruction and promotes the original Ni(OH)2 transformed into a mesoporous and amorphous F-NiOOH layer during the electrochemical process. Density functional theory (DFT) calculation reveals that this self-reconstructed NiOOH induces a space-charge effect on the p–n junction interface, which not only promotes the absorption of intermediates species (*OH, *O, and *OOH) and charge-transfer process during catalysis, but also leads to a strong interaction of the p–n junction interface to stabilize the materials. This work opens up a new possibility to regulate the electronic structure of active sites and promote their catalytic activities.

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Nano Research
Pages 2952-2960
Cite this article:
Kang Y, Wang S, Hui KS, et al. Surface reconstruction establishing Mott–Schottky heterojunction and built-in space-charging effect accelerating oxygen evolution reaction. Nano Research, 2022, 15(4): 2952-2960.








Web of Science






Received: 07 September 2021
Revised: 27 September 2021
Accepted: 29 September 2021
Published: 12 December 2021
© The Author(s) 2021

Copyright: 2021 by the author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), visit