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Metal-Assisted Ligand-Centered Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution upon Reduction of a Bis(thiosemicarbazonato)Cu(II) Complex.

  • Author(s): Haddad, Andrew Z
  • Cronin, Steve P
  • Mashuta, Mark S
  • Buchanan, Robert M
  • Grapperhaus, Craig A
  • et al.
Abstract

In this study, we report the electrocatalytic behavior of the neutral, monomeric Cu(II) complex of diacetyl-bis(N-4-methyl-3-thiosemicarbazonato), CuL1, for metal-assisted ligand-centered hydrogen evolution in acetonitrile and dimethylformamide. CuL1 displays a maximum turnover frequency (TOF) of 10 000 s-1 in acetonitrile and 5100 s-1 in dimethylformamide at an overpotential of 0.80 and 0.76 V, respectively. The rate law is first-order in catalyst and second-order in proton concentration. Gas analysis from controlled potential electrolysis confirms CuL1 as an electrocatalyst to produce H2 with a minimum Faradaic efficiency of 81% and turnover numbers as high as 73 while showing no sign of degradation over 23 h. The H2 evolution reaction (HER) was probed using deuterated acid, demonstrating a kinetic isotope effect of 7.54. A proton inventory study suggests one proton is involved in the rate-determining step. Catalytic intermediates were identified using 1H NMR, X-ray photoelectron, and UV-visible spectroscopies. All catalytic intermediates in the proposed mechanism were successfully optimized using density functional theory calculations with the B3LYP functional and the 6-311g(d,p) basis set and support the proposed mechanism.

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