Light-driven water oxidation with ligand-engineered Prussian blue analogues

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2023-02-24
Date
2022-02-24
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Source Title
Inorganic Chemistry
Print ISSN
0020-1669
Electronic ISSN
1520-510X
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Volume
61
Issue
9
Pages
3931 - 3941
Language
English
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Abstract

The elucidation of the ideal coordination environment of a catalytic site has been at the heart of catalytic applications. Herein, we show that the water oxidation activities of catalytic cobalt sites in a Prussian blue (PB) structure could be tuned systematically by decorating its coordination sphere with a combination of cyanide and bidentate pyridyl groups. K0.1[Co(bpy)]2.9[Fe(CN)6]2([Cobpy-Fe]), K0.2[Co(phen)]2.8[Fe(CN)6]2([Cophen-Fe]), {[Co(bpy)2]3[Fe(CN)6]2}[Fe(CN)6]1/3([Cobpy2-Fe]), and {[Co(phen)2]3[Fe(CN)6]2}[Fe(CN)6]1/3Cl0.11([Cophen2-Fe]) were prepared by introducing bidentate pyridyl groups (phen: 1,10-phenanthroline, bpy: 2,2′-bipyridine) to the common synthetic protocol of Co-Fe Prussian blue analogues. Characterization studies indicate that [Cobpy2-Fe] and [Cophen2-Fe] adopt a pentanuclear molecular structure, while [Cobpy-Fe] and [Cophen-Fe] could be described as cyanide-based coordination polymers with lower-dimensionality and less crystalline nature compared to the regular Co-Fe Prussian blue analogue (PBA), K0.1Co2.9[Fe(CN)6]2([Co-Fe]). Photocatalytic studies reveal that the activities of [Cobpy-Fe] and [Cophen-Fe] are significantly enhanced compared to those of [Co-Fe], while molecular [Cobpy2-Fe] and [Cophen2-Fe] are inactive toward water oxidation. [Cobpy-Fe] and [Cophen-Fe] exhibit upper-bound turnover frequencies (TOFs) of 1.3 and 0.7 s-1, respectively, which are ∼50 times higher than that of [Co-Fe] (1.8 × 10-2s-1). The complete inactivity of [Cobpy2-Fe] and [Cophen2-Fe] confirms the critical role of aqua coordination to the catalytic cobalt sites for oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Computational studies show that bidentate pyridyl groups enhance the susceptibility of the rate-determining Co(IV)-oxo species to the nucleophilic water attack during the critical O-O bond formation. This study opens a new route toward increasing the intrinsic water oxidation activity of the catalytic sites in PB coordination polymers. © 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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