Producing hydrogen by water electrolysis suffers from the kinetic barriers in the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) that limits the overall efficiency. With spin-dependent kinetics in OER, to manipulate the spin ordering of ferromagnetic OER catalysts (e.g., by magnetization) can reduce the kinetic barrier. However, most active OER catalysts are not ferromagnetic, which makes the spin manipulation challenging. In this work, we report a strategy with spin pinning effect to make the spins in paramagnetic oxyhydroxides more aligned for higher intrinsic OER activity. The spin pinning effect is established in oxideFM/oxyhydroxide interface which is realized by a controlled surface reconstruction of ferromagnetic oxides. Under spin pinning, simple magnetization further increases the spin alignment and thus the OER activity, which validates the spin effect in rate-limiting OER step. The spin polarization in OER highly relies on oxyl radicals (O∙) created by 1st dehydrogenation to reduce the barrier for subsequent O-O coupling.
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