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Title: Arginine-Containing Ligands Enhance H-2 Oxidation Catalyst Performance

In H2 fuel cells, performance depends on factors controlling turnover frequency and energy efficiency in the electrocatalytic oxidation of H2. Nature uses the hydrogenase enzymes to oxidize H2 at high turnover frequencies (up to 20,000 s-1) and low overpotentials (<100 mV), while the fastest synthetic catalyst reported to date only oxidizes H2 at 50 s-1 under 1 atm H2. Here we report a water-soluble complex incorporating the amino acid arginine, [NiII(PCy2NArg2)2]6+, that operates at 210 s-1 (180 mV overpotential) under 1 atm H2 and 144,000 s-1 (460 mV overpotential) under 133 atm H2. The complex functions from pH 0-14 with rates increasing at lower pH values. The arginine groups impart water solubility and play a critical role in enhancing turnover frequency, most consistent with an intramolecular Arg-Arg interaction that controls the structure of the catalyst active site. This work was funded by the Office of Science Early Career Research Program through the US DOE, BES (AD, WJS), and the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US DOE, BES (JASR). PNNL is operated by Battelle for the US DOE.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
44681; KC0307010; KC0302010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53(25):6487-6491
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
catalysis; bioinspired; amino acid catalyst; outer coordination sphere; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory