Sm2O3 supported on conducting polymer (polypyrrole) as a highly potent electrocatalyst for water splitting

Ahmed M. Tawfeek, Karam Jabbour, Abdul Ghafoor Abid, Mehar Un Nisa, Sumaira Manzoor, Bushra Shabbir, Muhammad Yousaf ur Rehman, Tauseef Munawar, Mika Sillanpää, Muhammad Naeem Ashiq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrocatalytic water splitting relies heavily on the rational development of highly effective, long-lasting catalysts that should be cheaper and earth-abundant. Therefore, an effective electrocatalyst is required that may effectively pursue both electrocatalytic oxygen evolution (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). This research defines the path for straightforward preparation of conductive polymer-tailored metal oxide nanocomposite Sm2O3@PPy by a facile hydrothermal approach to be employed as an electrocatalyst for splitting of water. Various characterization techniques that include X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) were utilized for characterization of synthesized Sm2O3@PPy electrocatalyst. The generated Sm2O3@PPy electrocatalysts exhibited Tafel value around 34 mV/dec, having an overpotential around 272 mV at 10 mA/cm2. Additionally, the stability of the nanocomposite for OER activity was retained for up to 24 h. On the other hand, for HER, the Sm2O3@PPy nanocomposite also exhibited a smaller Tafel value around 57 mV/dec with an overpotential around 206 mV at 10 mA/cm2. The electrocatalytic results show that the combination of Sm2O3 and PPy has a synergistic impact to reduce the overpotential value. To pinpoint the rate-determining processes for OER, the voltage necessary for OER is intricately connected to the electrolyte pH and demonstrates a non-proton concerted approach. The above-designed nanocomposite is quite promising for modern hydrogen production systems due to its quick electron transfer mechanism, remarkable durability, and good activity for OER as well as for other electrochemical applications. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrothermal method
  • Oxidative polymerization
  • Oxygen evolution process
  • SmO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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