By means of electrocatalytic tests, surface-science techniques and density functional theory, we unveil the physicochemical mechanisms ruling the electrocatalytic activity of recently discovered mitrofanovite (Pt3Te4) mineral. Mitrofanovite represents a very promising electrocatalyst candidate for energy-related applications, with a reduction of costs by 47% compared to pure Pt and superior robustness to CO poisoning. We show that Pt3Te4 is a weak topological metal with the Formula Presented invariant, exhibiting electrical conductivity (∼4 × 106 S/m) comparable with pure Pt. In hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), the electrode based on bulk Pt3Te4 shows a very small overpotential of 46 mV at 10 mA cm-2 and a Tafel slope of 36-49 mV dec-1 associated with the Volmer-Heyrovsky mechanism. The outstanding ambient stability of Pt3Te4 also provides durability of the electrode and long-term stability of its efficient catalytic performances.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
L.Z. acknowledges funding by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21775078 and 22075159) and Taishan Scholar Program (No. tsqn202103058). F.C.B. acknowledges funding by the DFG through the SFB 1083 Structure and Dynamics of Internal Interfaces (Project A 12). D.W.B. acknowledged support Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (through the basic part of the government mandate, Project No. FEUZ-2020-0060) and Jiangsu Innovative and Entrepreneurial Talents Project. I.V. and J.F. thank NFFA-Trieste.
© 2021 American Chemical Society.