Photo-induced generation of dihydrogen and reduction of carbon dioxide using transition metal complexes

Norman Sutin, Carol Creutz, Etsuko Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


Homogeneous and microheterogeneous transition-metal-based systems that generate dihydrogen and/or reduce carbon dioxide upon irradiation with visible light are considered. Most of the systems involve polypyridine complexes of the d6 centers cobalt(III), rhodium(III), iridium(III), ruthenium(II) and rhenium(I). Complexes with diimine ligands serve as photosensitizers and/or catalyst precursors. The corresponding d8 metal centers and d6 hydrides are important intermediates: bimolecular reactions of the hydrides or their reactions with H2O/H3O+ are responsible for formation of dihydrogen. When carbon dioxide is also present, it may insert into the metal-hydride bond to yield formate. Mechanistic schemes for some dual-acting photoconversion systems that generate both dihydrogen and carbon monoxide or formate are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-92
Number of pages26
JournalComments on Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Catalysis
  • Dihydrogen
  • Electron transfer
  • Formate
  • Metal complexes
  • Metal hydrides
  • Photoconversion
  • Reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry

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