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  1. 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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    Abstract Understanding how photoexcited electron dynamics depend on electron-electron (e-e) and electron-phonon (e-p) interaction strengths is important for many fields, e.g. ultrafast magnetism, photocatalysis, plasmonics, and others. Here, we report simple expressions that capture the interplay of e-e and e-p interactions on electron distribution relaxation times. We observe a dependence of the dynamics on e-e and e-p interaction strengths that is universal to most metals and is also counterintuitive. While only e-p interactions reduce the total energy stored by excited electrons, the time for energy to leave the electronic subsystem also depends on e-e interaction strengths because e-e interactions increase the number of electrons emitting phonons. The effect of e-e interactions on energy-relaxation is largest in metals with strong e-p interactions. Finally, the time high energy electron states remain occupied depends only on the strength of e-e interactions, even if e-p scattering rates are much greater than e-e scattering rates. 
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