Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation by a Copper(II) Complex of an Oxidation-Resistant Ligand

Katherine J. Fisher, Kelly L. Materna, Brandon Q. Mercado, Robert H. Crabtree, Gary W. Brudvig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The copper(II) complex Cu(pyalk)2 (pyalk = 2-pyridyl-2-propanoate) is a robust homogeneous water-oxidation electrocatalyst under basic conditions (pH > 10.4). Water oxidation occurs at a relatively low overpotential for copper of 520-580 mV with a turnover frequency of ∼0.7 s-1. Controlled potential electrolysis experiments over 12 h at 1.1 V vs NHE resulted in the formation of >30 catalytic turnovers of O2 with only ∼20% catalyst degradation. The robustness of the catalyst under fairly harsh conditions and the low overpotential further highlight the oxidation resistance and strong donor character of pyalk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3384-3387
Number of pages4
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2017


  • OER
  • copper electrocatalysis
  • homogeneous electrocatalysis
  • oxygen-evolution reaction
  • water-oxidation catalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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