Electrocatalysts for carbon dioxide reduction, alcohol oxidation, and other closely related reactions provide the basis for solar driven fuel production and fuel cells. This presentation will describe a modular approach involving detailed studies of first, second, and outer coordination spheres of potential catalysts. Studies of the first coordination sphere are designed to improve our understanding of such fundamental processes as carbon dioxide binding, C-O bond cleavage, and C-H bond formation and cleavage. Design of the second coordination sphere involves the incorporation of properly positioned acids and bases to enhance substrate binding, promote bond formation and cleavage, and facilitate intra- and intermolecular proton transfer reactions. Studies of [Pd(triphosphine)(solvent)](BF4)2 complexes with pendant hydrogen bonding functional groups are shown to have second order rate constants for carbon dioxide reduction to CO of approximately 1000 M-1s-1, an increase in rate of approximately an order of magnitude compared to catalysts lacking this functional group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)