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  1. Abstract

    Transition‐metal borides (TMBs) have recently attracted attention as excellent hydrogen evolution (HER) electrocatalysts in bulk crystalline materials. Herein, we show for the first time that VB and V3B4have high electrocatalytic HER activity. Furthermore, we show that the HER activity (in 0.5 mH2SO4) increases with increasing boron chain condensation in vanadium borides: Using a −23 mV overpotential decrement derived from −0.296 mV (for VB at −10 mA cm−2current density) and −0.273 mV (for V3B4) we accurately predict the overpotential of VB2(−0.204 mV) as well as that of unstudied V2B3(−0.250 mV) and hypothetical “V5B8” (−0.227 mV). We then derived an exponential equation that predicts the overpotentials of known and hypothetical VxByphases containing at least a boron chain. These results provide a direct correlation between crystal structure and HER activity, thus paving the way for the design of even better electrocatalytic materials through structure–activity relationships.

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  2. Abstract

    Abundant transition metal borides are emerging as substitute electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts for noble metals. Herein, an unusual canonic‐like behavior of theclattice parameter in the AlB2‐type solid solution Cr1–xMoxB2(x= 0, 0.25, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.75, 1) and its direct correlation to the HER activity in 0.5 M H2SO4solution are reported. The activity increases with increasingx, reaching its maximum atx= 0.6 before decreasing again. At high current densities, Cr0.4Mo0.6B2outperforms Pt/C, as it needs 180 mV less overpotential to drive an 800 mA cm−2current density. Cr0.4Mo0.6B2has excellent long‐term stability and durability showing no significant activity loss after 5000 cycles and 25 h of operation in acid. First‐principles calculations have correctly reproduced the nonlinear dependence of theclattice parameter and have shown that the mixed metal/B layers, such as (110), promote hydrogen evolution more efficiently forx= 0.6, supporting the experimental results.

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  3. Abstract

    Most nanomaterials, such as transition metal carbides, phosphides, nitrides, chalcogenides, etc., have been extensively studied for their various properties in recent years. The similarly attractive transition metal borides, on the contrary, have seen little interest from the materials science community, mainly because nanomaterials are notoriously difficult to synthesize. Herein, a simple, general synthetic method toward crystalline transition metal boride nanomaterials is proposed. This new method takes advantage of the redox chemistry of Sn/SnCl2, the volatility and recrystallization of SnCl2at the synthesis conditions, as well as the immiscibility of tin with boron, to produce crystalline phases of 3d, 4d, and 5d transition metal nanoborides with different morphologies (nanorods, nanosheets, nanoprisms, nanoplates, nanoparticles, etc.). Importantly, this method allows flexibility in the choice of the transition metal, as well as the ability to target several compositions within the same binary phase diagram (e.g., Mo2B, α‐MoB, MoB2, Mo2B4). The simplicity and wide applicability of the method should enable the fulfillment of the great potential of this understudied class of materials, which show a variety of excellent chemical, electrochemical, and physical properties at the microscale.

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  4. Abstract A new ternary phase, TiIrB, was synthesized by arc-melting of the elements and characterized by powder X-ray diffraction. The compound crystallizes in the orthorhombic Ti 1+ x Rh 2− x + y Ir 3− y B 3 structure type, space group Pbam (no. 55) with the lattice parameters a  = 8.655(2), b  = 15.020(2), and c  = 3.2271(4) Å. Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations were carried out to understand the electronic structure, including a Bader charge analysis. The charge distribution of TiIrB in the Ti 1+ x Rh 2− x + y Ir 3− y B 3 -type phase has been evaluated for the first time, and the results indicate that more electron density is transferred to the boron atoms in the zigzag B 4 units than to isolated boron atoms. 
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