A molecular catalyst for water oxidation that binds to metal oxide surfaces

Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 11;6:6469. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7469.


Molecular catalysts are known for their high activity and tunability, but their solubility and limited stability often restrict their use in practical applications. Here we describe how a molecular iridium catalyst for water oxidation directly and robustly binds to oxide surfaces without the need for any external stimulus or additional linking groups. On conductive electrode surfaces, this heterogenized molecular catalyst oxidizes water with low overpotential, high turnover frequency and minimal degradation. Spectroscopic and electrochemical studies show that it does not decompose into iridium oxide, thus preserving its molecular identity, and that it is capable of sustaining high activity towards water oxidation with stability comparable to state-of-the-art bulk metal oxide catalysts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.