A Mononuclear Tungsten Photocatalyst for Dihydrogen Production

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The Webster Group and collaborators report the first self-sensitized homogeneous photocatalyst for H2 production. A previously reported di-Fe complex (a biomimetic of the Fe-Fe hydrogenase active site) achieved a TON of 3 over 3 hours. We have investigated a purely synthetic, mononuclear W-NHC complex that achieves a TON of 17 over 3 hours under irradiation by visible light (DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b04242). This complex is only the second reported self-sensitizing homogeneous photocatalyst of H2 production, and the first that is mononuclear. The design of the complex also features moieties that are readily modified through known literature procedures thus making the catalytic activity tunable. Significant efforts were taken both experimentally and computationally to reveal the catalytic mechanism of H2 production, which is also reported. These studies were conducted in collaboration with Professors Jared Delcamp (University of Mississippi), Nathan Hammer (University of Mississippi), and Russ Schmehl (Tulane University).


A. Huckaba, H. Shirley, R. W. Lamb, S. Guertin, S. Autry, H. Cheema, K. Talukdar, T. Jones, J. Jurss, A. Dass, N. I. Hammer, R. Schmehl, C. E. Webster, J. H. Delcamp. "A Mononuclear Tungsten Photocatalyst for H2 Production" ACS Catal, 2018, 8, 4838-4847.

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