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Title: Electrochemical Detection of Transient Cobalt Hydride Intermediates of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production

Abstract

We report the use of variable scan rate cyclic voltammetry to detect transient CoIIIH and CoIIH intermediates of electrocatalytic H2 production by CoII(dmgBF2)2(CH3CN)2 and [CoII(PtBu2NPh2)(CH3CN)3]2+. In both cases, reduction of the CoIIIH intermediate was observed to coincide with the CoII/I couple, and the resulting CoIIH intermediate is protonated by acid to afford H2. Our studies indicate that in electrocatalytic H2 production, protonation of CoIIH is rate-limiting for CoII(dmgBF2)2(CH3CN)2, and protonation of CoI is rate-limiting for [CoII(PtBu2NPh2)(CH3CN)3]2+. This research was supported as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1324910
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-105261
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863; KC0307010
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society; Journal Volume: 138; Journal Issue: 26
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
cobalt; electrocatalysis; hydrogen

Citation Formats

Wiedner, Eric S., and Bullock, R. Morris. Electrochemical Detection of Transient Cobalt Hydride Intermediates of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b04779.
Wiedner, Eric S., & Bullock, R. Morris. Electrochemical Detection of Transient Cobalt Hydride Intermediates of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production. United States. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b04779.
Wiedner, Eric S., and Bullock, R. Morris. 2016. "Electrochemical Detection of Transient Cobalt Hydride Intermediates of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production". United States. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b04779.
@article{osti_1324910,
title = {Electrochemical Detection of Transient Cobalt Hydride Intermediates of Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production},
author = {Wiedner, Eric S. and Bullock, R. Morris},
abstractNote = {We report the use of variable scan rate cyclic voltammetry to detect transient CoIIIH and CoIIH intermediates of electrocatalytic H2 production by CoII(dmgBF2)2(CH3CN)2 and [CoII(PtBu2NPh2)(CH3CN)3]2+. In both cases, reduction of the CoIIIH intermediate was observed to coincide with the CoII/I couple, and the resulting CoIIH intermediate is protonated by acid to afford H2. Our studies indicate that in electrocatalytic H2 production, protonation of CoIIH is rate-limiting for CoII(dmgBF2)2(CH3CN)2, and protonation of CoI is rate-limiting for [CoII(PtBu2NPh2)(CH3CN)3]2+. This research was supported as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.},
doi = {10.1021/jacs.6b04779},
journal = {Journal of the American Chemical Society},
number = 26,
volume = 138,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}
  • The [Ni(PR2NR’2)2]2+ family of complexes are exceptionally active catalysts for proton reduction to H2. In this manuscript, we explore the first protonation step of the proposed catalytic cycle by using a catalytically inactive NiI complex possessing a sterically demanding variation of the ligand. Due to the paramagnetic nature of the NiI oxidation state, the protonated NiI intermediate has been characterized through a combination of cyclic voltammetry, ENDOR, and HYSCORE spectroscopy. Both the electrochemical and spectroscopic studies indicate that the NiI complex is protonated at a pendant amine that is endo to Ni, which suggests the presence of an intramolecular NiI•••HNmore » bonding interaction. Using density functional theory, the proton was found to hydrogen bond to three doubly-occupied, localized molecular orbitals: the 3dxz, 3dz2, and 3dyz orbitals of nickel. These studies provide the first direct experimental evidence for this critical catalytic intermediate, and implications for catalytic H2 production are discussed. Research was supported by the Max Planck Society (EPR, ENDOR, and HYSCORE spectroscopy, computational studies), and as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (electrochemistry, NMR spectroscopy). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for DOE.« less
  • The [Ni(P R 2N R' 2) 2] 2+ family of complexes are exceptionally active catalysts for proton reduction to H 2. In this manuscript, we explore the first protonation step of the proposed catalytic cycle by using a catalytically inactive Ni I complex possessing a sterically demanding variation of the ligand. Due to the paramagnetic nature of the Ni I oxidation state, the protonated Ni I intermediate has been characterized through a combination of cyclic voltammetry, electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy, and hyperfine sublevel correlation (HYSCORE) spectroscopy. Both the electrochemical and spectroscopic studies indicate that the NiI complex ismore » protonated at a pendant amine that is endo to Ni, which suggests the presence of an intramolecular Ni I---HN bonding interaction. Using density functional theory, the hydrogen bond was found to involve three doubly-occupied, localized molecular orbitals: the 3d xz, 3d z2, and 3d yz orbitals of nickel. These studies provide the first direct experimental evidence for this critical catalytic intermediate, and implications for catalytic H 2 production are discussed.« less
  • Two cobalt(tetraphosphine) complexes [Co(PnC-PPh22NPh2)(CH3CN)](BF4)2 with a tetradentate phosphine ligand (PnC-PPh22NPh2 = 1,5-diphenyl-3,7-bis((diphenylphosphino)alkyl)-1,5-diaza-3,7-diphosphacyclooctane; alkyl = (CH2)2, n = 2 (L2); (CH2)3, n = 3 (L3)) have been studied for electrocatalytic hydrogen production using 1:1 [(DMF)H]+:DMF. A turnover frequency of 980 s–1 with an overpotential of 1210 mV was measured for [CoII(L2)(CH3CN)]2+, and a turnover frequency of 980 s–1 with an overpotential of 930 mV was measured for [CoII(L3)(CH3CN)]2+. Addition of water increases the turnover frequency of [CoII(L2)(CH3CN)]2+ to 19,000 s–1. The catalytic wave for each of these complexes occurs at the reduction potential of the corresponding HCoIII complex. Comprehensive thermochemical studiesmore » of [CoII(L2)(CH3CN)]2+ and [CoII(L3)(CH3CN)]2+ and species derived from them by addition/removal of protons/electrons were carried out using values measured experimentally and calculated using DFT. Notably, HCoI(L2) and HCoI(L2) were found to be remarkably strong hydride donors, with HCoI(L2) being a better hydride donor than BH4-. Mechanistic studies of these catalysts reveal that H2 formation can occur by protonation of a HCoII intermediate, and that the pendant amines of these complexes facilitate proton delivery to the cobalt center. The rate-limiting step for catalysis is a net intramolecular isomerization of the protonated pendant amine from the non-productive exo-isomer to the productive endo isomer. We thank Dr. Shentan Chen for many helpful discussions. This research was supported as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Computational resources were provided at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.« less