Heterogeneous catalysis at the surface of topological materials

Abstract

Intriguing properties are frequently reported in various topologically non-trivial materials. They include robust metallic surface states, high carrier mobility, chiral fermions, and ultralong Fermi arcs. An exciting recent finding is that these properties are strongly related to adsorption and electron transfer in various heterogeneous catalysis reactions, such as hydrogen evolution, oxygen evolution, oxygen reduction, enantiospecific adsorption, and hydrometallation. Thus, we expect that the introduction of non-trivial symmetry-protected topological order will offer important freedom for designing high-performance heterogeneous catalysts. To uncover the contribution of the topologically non-trivial electronic structure to the heterogeneous reactions, in situ techniques are urgently needed to detect the interaction between surface states, topological electrons, and reaction intermediates.

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