Evaluation of the role of water in the H2 bond formation by Ni(II)-based electrocatalysts

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Abstract

We investigate the role of water in the H-H bond formation by a family of nickel molecular catalysts that exhibit high rates for H2 production in acetonitrile solvent. A key feature leading to the high reactivity is the Lewis acidity of the Ni(II) center and pendant amines in the diphosphine ligand that function as Lewis bases, facilitating H-H bond formation or cleavage. Significant increases in the rate of H2 production have been reported in the presence of added water. Our calculations show that molecular water can displace an acetonitrile solvent molecule in the first solvation shell of the metal. One or two water molecules can also participate in shuttling a proton that can combine with a metal hydride to form the H-H bond. However the participation of the water molecules does not lower the barrier to H-H bond formation. Thus these calculations suggest that the rate increase due to water in these electrocatalysts is not associated with the elementary step of H-H bond formation or cleavage but rather with the proton delivery steps. We attribute the higher barrier in the H-H bond formation in the presence of water to a decrease in direct interaction between the protic and hydridic hydrogen atoms forced by the water molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3505-3514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 13 2013

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electrocatalysts
Electrocatalysts
Hydrogen
Water
evaluation
water
Molecules
Acetonitrile
acetonitrile
Protons
molecules
cleavage
Metals
Lewis Bases
Lewis base
metal hydrides
protons
Solvation
Nickel
Acidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

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title = "Evaluation of the role of water in the H2 bond formation by Ni(II)-based electrocatalysts",
abstract = "We investigate the role of water in the H-H bond formation by a family of nickel molecular catalysts that exhibit high rates for H2 production in acetonitrile solvent. A key feature leading to the high reactivity is the Lewis acidity of the Ni(II) center and pendant amines in the diphosphine ligand that function as Lewis bases, facilitating H-H bond formation or cleavage. Significant increases in the rate of H2 production have been reported in the presence of added water. Our calculations show that molecular water can displace an acetonitrile solvent molecule in the first solvation shell of the metal. One or two water molecules can also participate in shuttling a proton that can combine with a metal hydride to form the H-H bond. However the participation of the water molecules does not lower the barrier to H-H bond formation. Thus these calculations suggest that the rate increase due to water in these electrocatalysts is not associated with the elementary step of H-H bond formation or cleavage but rather with the proton delivery steps. We attribute the higher barrier in the H-H bond formation in the presence of water to a decrease in direct interaction between the protic and hydridic hydrogen atoms forced by the water molecules.",
author = "Ho, {Ming Hsun} and Simone Raugei and Roger Rousseau and Michel Dupuis and Bullock, {R Morris}",
year = "2013",
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T1 - Evaluation of the role of water in the H2 bond formation by Ni(II)-based electrocatalysts

AU - Ho, Ming Hsun

AU - Raugei, Simone

AU - Rousseau, Roger

AU - Dupuis, Michel

AU - Bullock, R Morris

PY - 2013/8/13

Y1 - 2013/8/13

N2 - We investigate the role of water in the H-H bond formation by a family of nickel molecular catalysts that exhibit high rates for H2 production in acetonitrile solvent. A key feature leading to the high reactivity is the Lewis acidity of the Ni(II) center and pendant amines in the diphosphine ligand that function as Lewis bases, facilitating H-H bond formation or cleavage. Significant increases in the rate of H2 production have been reported in the presence of added water. Our calculations show that molecular water can displace an acetonitrile solvent molecule in the first solvation shell of the metal. One or two water molecules can also participate in shuttling a proton that can combine with a metal hydride to form the H-H bond. However the participation of the water molecules does not lower the barrier to H-H bond formation. Thus these calculations suggest that the rate increase due to water in these electrocatalysts is not associated with the elementary step of H-H bond formation or cleavage but rather with the proton delivery steps. We attribute the higher barrier in the H-H bond formation in the presence of water to a decrease in direct interaction between the protic and hydridic hydrogen atoms forced by the water molecules.

AB - We investigate the role of water in the H-H bond formation by a family of nickel molecular catalysts that exhibit high rates for H2 production in acetonitrile solvent. A key feature leading to the high reactivity is the Lewis acidity of the Ni(II) center and pendant amines in the diphosphine ligand that function as Lewis bases, facilitating H-H bond formation or cleavage. Significant increases in the rate of H2 production have been reported in the presence of added water. Our calculations show that molecular water can displace an acetonitrile solvent molecule in the first solvation shell of the metal. One or two water molecules can also participate in shuttling a proton that can combine with a metal hydride to form the H-H bond. However the participation of the water molecules does not lower the barrier to H-H bond formation. Thus these calculations suggest that the rate increase due to water in these electrocatalysts is not associated with the elementary step of H-H bond formation or cleavage but rather with the proton delivery steps. We attribute the higher barrier in the H-H bond formation in the presence of water to a decrease in direct interaction between the protic and hydridic hydrogen atoms forced by the water molecules.

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