This paper focuses on homogeneous catalysts for the oxidation of water. It provides an overview of the photosynthetic water-oxidizing complex (WOC) and its functionality, followed by analysis of the thermodynamic and kinetic constraints for water-oxidation that have to be overcome by any catalyst. Since manganese is the metal that performs this reaction in the WOC, manganese catalysts are discussed, followed by ruthenium. Finally, the principles of reactivity learned from theory and existing models that will guide toward synthesis of better catalysts in the future are summarized.
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