Layered titanium diboride: towards exfoliation and electrochemical applications
Layered transition metal diborides (TMDB), amongst other refractory metal borides, are commonly employed for material fabrication such as wear- and corrosion-resistant coatings due to their impressive chemical stability and thermal conductivity. In spite of the wide scope of studies carried out on TMDB in the physical field, investigations on its electrochemistry remain limited. Since the physical properties play a vital role in any material's electrochemical behaviour, we explore the viability of the most popular form of titanium boride, layered TiB2, as catalysts for electrochemical energy reactions, including hydrogen evolution and oxygen reduction. Three types of TiB2 were compared in this work - TiB2 separately modified with sodium naphtalenide and butyllithium in an attempt to exfoliate TiB2 and unmodified TiB2. The electrocatalytic activity displayed by all three TiB2 materials provides a wider range of opportunities for the application of TiB2 in material studies.