Dirac Nodal Arc Semimetal PtSn4: An Ideal Platform for Understanding Surface Properties and Catalysis for Hydrogen Evolution

Guowei Li, Chenguang Fu, Wujun Shi, Lin Jiao, Jiquan Wu, Qun Yang, Rana Saha, Machteld E. Kamminga, Abhay K. Srivastava, Enke Liu, Aliza N. Yazdani, Nitesh Kumar, Jian Zhang, Graeme R. Blake, Xianjie Liu, Mats Fahlman, Steffen Wirth, Gudrun Auffermann, Johannes Gooth, Stuart ParkinVidya Madhavan, Xinliang Feng, Yan Sun, Claudia Felser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conductivity, carrier mobility, and a suitable Gibbs free energy are important criteria that determine the performance of catalysts for a hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, it is a challenge to combine these factors into a single compound. Herein, we discover a superior electrocatalyst for a HER in the recently identified Dirac nodal arc semimetal PtSn4. The determined turnover frequency (TOF) for each active site of PtSn4 is 1.54 H2 s−1 at 100 mV. This sets a benchmark for HER catalysis on Pt-based noble metals and earth-abundant metal catalysts. We make use of the robust surface states of PtSn4 as their electrons can be transferred to the adsorbed hydrogen atoms in the catalytic process more efficiently. In addition, PtSn4 displays excellent chemical and electrochemical stabilities after long-term exposure in air and long-time HER stability tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13107-13112
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 9 2019


  • Dirac semimetal
  • PtSn
  • electrocatalysis
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • surface states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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