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Author ORCID ID is 0000000270401892
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  1. Transition-metal-based molecular complexes are a class of catalyst materials for electrochemical CO 2 reduction to CO that can be rationally designed to deliver high catalytic performance. One common mechanistic feature of these electrocatalysts developed thus far is an electrogenerated reduced metal center associated with catalytic CO 2 reduction. Here in this paper, we report a heterogenized zinc–porphyrin complex (zinc(II) 5,10,15,20-tetramesitylporphyrin) as an electrocatalyst that delivers a turnover frequency as high as 14.4 site –1 s –1 and a Faradaic efficiency as high as 95% for CO 2 electroreduction to CO at -1.7 V vs the standard hydrogen electrode in anmore » organic/water mixed electrolyte. While the Zn center is critical to the observed catalysis, in situ and operando X-ray absorption spectroscopic studies reveal that it is redox-innocent throughout the potential range. Cyclic voltammetry indicates that the porphyrin ligand may act as a redox mediator. Chemical reduction of the zinc–porphyrin complex further confirms that the reduction is ligand-based and the reduced species can react with CO 2. This represents the first example of a transition-metal complex for CO 2 electroreduction catalysis with its metal center being redox-innocent under working conditions.« less
    Cited by 24Full Text Available
  2. Here, water-oxidation catalysis is a critical bottleneck in the direct generation of solar fuels by artificial photosynthesis. Catalytic oxidation of difficult substrates such as water requires harsh conditions, so that the ligand must be designed both to stabilize high oxidation states of the metal center and to strenuously resist ligand degradation. Typical ligand choices either lack sufficient electron donor power or fail to stand up to the oxidizing conditions. This research on Ir-based water-oxidation catalysts (WOCs) has led us to identify a ligand, 2-(2'-pyridyl)-2-propanoate or “pyalk” that fulfills these requirements.
    Cited by 14Full Text Available
  3. Understanding structure–function relations in photosystem II (PSII) is important for the development of biomimetic photocatalytic systems. X-ray crystallography, computational modeling, and spectroscopy have played central roles in elucidating the structure and function of PSII. Recent breakthroughs in femtosecond X-ray crystallography offer the possibility of collecting diffraction data from the X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) before radiation damage of the sample, thereby overcoming the main challenge of conventional X-ray diffraction methods. However, the interpretation of XFEL data from PSII intermediates is challenging because of the issues regarding data-processing, uncertainty on the precise positions of light oxygen atoms next to heavy metalmore » centers, and different kinetics of the S-state transition in microcrystals compared to solution. Lastly, we summarize recent advances and outstanding challenges in PSII structure–function determination with emphasis on the implementation of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics techniques combined with isomorphous difference Fourier maps, direct methods, and high-resolution spectroscopy.« less
  4. Efficient photoelectrochemical water oxidation may open a way to produce energy from renewable solar power. In biology, generation of fuel due to water oxidation happens efficiently on an immense scale during the light reactions of photosynthesis. To oxidize water, photosynthetic organisms have evolved a highly conserved protein complex, Photosystem II. Within that complex, water oxidation happens at the CaMn 4O 5 inorganic catalytic cluster, the so-called oxygen-evolving complex (OEC), which cycles through storage “S” states as it accumulates oxidizing equivalents and produces molecular oxygen. In recent years, there has been significant progress in understanding the OEC as it evolves throughmore » the catalytic cycle. Studies have combined conventional and femtosecond X-ray crystallography with extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/ MM) methods and have addressed changes in protonation states of μ-oxo bridges and the coordination of substrate water through the analysis of ammonia binding as a chemical analog of water. These advances are thought to be critical to understanding the catalytic cycle since protonation states regulate the relative stability of different redox states and the geometry of the OEC. Therefore, establishing the mechanism for substrate water binding and the nature of protonation/redox state transitions in the OEC is essential for understanding the catalytic cycle of O 2 evolution. The structure of the dark-stable S1 state has been a target for X-ray crystallography for the past 15 years. However, traditional Xray crystallography has been hampered by radiation-induced reduction of the OEC. Very recently, a revolutionary X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) technique was applied to PSII to reveal atomic positions at 1.95 Å without radiation damage, which brought us closer than ever to establishing the ultimate structure of the OEC in the S 1 state. However, the atom positions in this crystal structure are still not consistent with high-resolution EXAFS spectroscopy, partially due to the poorly resolved oxygen positions next to Mn centers and partial reduction due to extended dark adaptation of the sample. These inconsistencies led to the new models of the OEC with an alternative low oxidation state and raised questions on the protonation state of the cluster, especially the O5 μ-oxo bridge. This Account summarizes the most recent models of the OEC that emerged from QM/MM, EXAFS and femtosecond X-ray crystallography methods. When PSII in the S 1 state is exposed to light, the S 1 state is advanced to the higher oxidation states and eventually binds substrate water molecules. Identifying the substrate waters is of paramount importance for establishing the water-oxidation mechanism but is complicated by a large number of spectroscopically similar waters. Water analogues can, therefore, be helpful because they serve as spectroscopic markers that help to track the motion of the substrate waters. Due to a close structural and electronic similarity to water, ammonia has been of particular interest. We review three competing hypotheses on substrate water/ammonia binding and compile theoretical and experimental evidence to support them. Binding of ammonia as a sixth ligand to Mn4 during the S 1 → S 2 transition seems to satisfy most of the criteria, especially the most compelling recent EPR data on D1-D61A mutated PSII. Such a binding mode suggests delivery of water from the “narrow” channel through a “carousel” rearrangement of waters around Mn4 upon the S 2 → S 3 transition. An alternative hypothesis suggests water delivery through the “large” channel on the Ca side. However, both water delivery paths lead to a similar S 3 structure, seemingly reaching consensus on the nature of the last detectable S-state intermediate in the Kok cycle before O 2 evolution.« less
    Cited by 22Full Text Available
  5. Lateral charge transport in a redox)active monolayer can be utilized for solar energy harvesting. We chose the porphyrin system to study the influence of the solvent on lateral hole hopping, which plays a crucial role in the charge)transfer kinetics. We also examined the influence of water, acetonitrile, and propylene carbonate as solvents. Hole)hopping lifetimes varied by nearly three orders of magnitude among solvents, ranging from 3 ns in water to 2800 ns in propylene carbonate, and increased nonlinearly as a function of added acetonitrile in aqueous solvent mixtures. Our results elucidate the important roles of solvation, molecular packing dynamics, andmore » lateral charge)transfer mechanisms that have implications for all dye)sensitized photoelectrochemical device designs.« less
  6. Here, we report CF 3-substituted porphyrins and evaluate their use as photosensitizers in water-splitting dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells (WS-DSPECs) by characterizing interfacial electron transfer on metal oxide surfaces. Furthermore, by using (CF 3) 2C 6H 3 instead of C 6F 5 substituents at the meso positions, we obtain the desired high potentials while avoiding the sensitivity of C 6F 5 substituents to nucleophilic substitution, a process that limits the types of synthetic reactions that can be used. Both the number of CF 3 groups and the central metal tune the ground and excited-state potentials. A pair of porphyrins bearing carboxylic acidsmore » as anchoring groups were deposited on SnO 2 and TiO 2 surfaces and the interfacial charge-injection and charge-recombination kinetics were characterized by using a combination of computational modeling, terahertz measurements, and transient absorption spectroscopy. We also found that both free-base and metallated porphyrins inject into SnO 2, and that recombination is slower for the latter case. Our findings demonstrate that (CF 3) 2C 6H 3-substituted porphyrins are promising photosensitizers for use in WS-DSPECs.« less

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