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Quantum Chemical Characterization of the Mechanism of a Supported Cobalt-based Water Oxidation Catalyst

Ertem, M. Z.; Cramer, C. J.
Dalton Trans. 2012, 41, 12213 (doi:10.1039/c2dt31871g).

Quantum chemical modeling is employed to elucidate the catalytic cycle of a recently described supported cobalt compound that catalyzes water oxidation. Key features of the catalytic cycle include a supporting corrole that is rendered non-innocent early in the oxidation process and a pendant carboxylate moiety that functions as a general base to further activate a water molecule that nucleophilically attacks a reactive metal oxo functionality. Fluorination of the supporting corrole appears both to modulate the electrophilicity of the metal-oxo fragment and to mitigate decomposition reactions that might otherwise be expected for a corrole radical cation.