Strain-Engineered Nano-Ferroelectrics for High-Efficiency Piezocatalytic Overall Water Splitting

Ran Su, Zhipeng Wang, Lina Zhu, Ying Pan, Dawei Zhang, Hui Wen, Zheng-Dong Luo, Linglong Li, Fa-tang Li, Ming Wu, Liqiang He, Pankaj Sharma, Jan Seidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Developing nano-ferroelectric materials with excellent piezoelectric performance for piezocatalysts used in water splitting is highly desired but also challenging, especially with respect to reaching large piezo-potentials that fully align with required redox levels. Herein, heteroepitaxial strain in BaTiO3 nanoparticles with a designed porous structure is successfully induced by engineering their surface reconstruction to dramatically enhance their piezoelectricity. The strain coherence can be maintained throughout the nanoparticle bulk, resulting in a significant increase of the BaTiO3 tetragonality and thus its piezoelectricity. Benefiting from high piezoelectricity, the as-synthesized blue-colored BaTiO3 nanoparticles possess a superb overall water-splitting activity, with H2 production rates of 159 μmol g−1 h−1, which is almost 130 times higher than that of the pristine BaTiO3 nanoparticles. Thus, this work provides a generic approach for designing highly efficient piezoelectric nanomaterials by strain engineering that can be further extended to various other perovskite oxides, including SrTiO3, thereby enhancing their potential for piezoelectric catalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16019-16026
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • BaTiO
  • ferroelectrics
  • overall water splitting
  • strain engineering
  • surface reconstruction


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