Noninnocent Proton-Responsive Ligand Facilitates Reductive Deprotonation and Hinders CO2 Reduction Catalysis in [Ru(tpy)(6DHBP)(NCCH3)]2+ (6DHBP = 6,6′-(OH)2bpy)

Lele Duan, Gerald F. Manbeck, Marta Kowalczyk, David J. Szalda, James Muckerman, Yuichiro Himeda, Etsuko Fujita

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Ruthenium complexes with proton-responsive ligands [Ru(tpy)(nDHBP)(NCCH3)](CF3SO3)2 (tpy = 2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine; nDHBP = n,n′-dihydroxy-2,2′-bipyridine, n = 4 or 6) were examined for reductive chemistry and as catalysts for CO2 reduction. Electrochemical reduction of [Ru(tpy)(nDHBP)(NCCH3)]2+ generates deprotonated species through interligand electron transfer in which the initially formed tpy radical anion reacts with a proton source to produce singly and doubly deprotonated complexes that are identical to those obtained by base titration. A third reduction (i.e., reduction of [Ru(tpy)(nDHBP-2H+)]0) triggers catalysis of CO2 reduction; however, the catalytic efficiency is strikingly lower than that of unsubstituted [Ru(tpy)(bpy)(NCCH3)]2+ (bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine). Cyclic voltammetry, bulk electrolysis, and spectroelectrochemical infrared experiments suggest the reactivity of CO2 at both the Ru center and the deprotonated quinone-type ligand. The Ru carbonyl formed by the intermediacy of a metallocarboxylic acid is stable against reduction, and mass spectrometry analysis of this product indicates the presence of two carbonates formed by the reaction of DHBP-2H+ with CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4582-4594
Number of pages13
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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