When 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Sep 22, 2017
Where 1571 G.G. Brown
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Boron: Enabling Magnetic and Electrocatalytic Materials

Boniface P.T. Fokwa
CMFs in Materials Science & Chemical Engineering, University of California, Riverside

Boron tends, like carbon and silicon, to form covalent molecular as well as extended compounds, but boron’s “electron deficiency” enables the formation of multicenter B–B bonds, and therefore unexpected compounds. Boron reacts with most metals to form the large class of metal borides, ranging from the boron-richest YB66 monochromator up to the metal-richest Nd14Fe2B permanent magnet.1 This huge composition range coupled with the unusual chemical bonding make this class of materials an ideal playground for unexpected discoveries. In this seminar, I will present our recent work on “designing” new magnetic and electrocatalytic materials, all of which contain boron. I will show that in many cases boron does not only help build new crystal structures but it also plays a prominent role on the studied properties. 2-6  




  1. Fokwa, B. P. T. Borides: Solid-state chemistry. In Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic chemistry; Scott, R. A., Ed.; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2014.
  2. Scheifers, J. P.; Zhang, Y.; Fokwa, B. P. T. Boron: Enabling exciting metal-rich structures and magnetic properties, Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, accepted.  
  3. Mbarki, M.; Touzani, R. St..; Fokwa, B. P. T. Unexpected synergy between magnetic iron chains and stacked B6 rings in Nb6Fe1–xIr6+xB8. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 13174.
  4. Küpers, M.; Lutz-Kappelman, L.; Zhang, Y.; Miller, G. J.; Fokwa, B. P. T. Spin frustration and magnetic ordering from one-dimensional stacking of Cr3 triangles in TiCrIr2B2. Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 5640.
  5. Park, H.; Encinas, A.; Scheifers, J. P.; Zhang, Y.; Fokwa, B. P. T.: Boron-dependency of molybdenum borides electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 5575.
  6. Jothi, P.R.; Zhang, Y.; Scheifers, J. P.; Park, H.; Fokwa, B. P. T.: Molybdenum diboride nanoparticles as highly efficient electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction, under review. 

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