ELECTROCHEMISTRY

Smooth path through a molecular catalyst

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Science  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6457, pp. 996-997
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6457.996-g

Molecular electrocatalysts accelerate reactions by shuttling electrons between the electrodes and reactants. This process typically is constrained by the energetics of electron transfer between the electrode and the catalyst. However, Jackson et al. now show that, when linked carefully to the electrode, the catalyst can act as an electron conduit without being reduced ahead of time. They specifically conjugated a rhodium hydrogen-evolution catalyst to a graphite electrode through a pyrazine linker. The ensuing reaction proceeded through concerted proton-coupled electron transfer.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/jacs.9b04981 (2019).

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