Development of Ruthenium Catalysts for Water Oxidation

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Department of Organic Chemistry, Stockholm University

Sammanfattning: An increasing global energy demand requires alternative fuel sources. A promising method is artificial photosynthesis. Although, the artificial processes are different from the natural photosynthetic process, the basic principles are the same, i.e. to split water and to convert solar energy into chemical energy. The energy is stored in bonds, which can at a later stage be released upon combustion. The bottleneck in the artificial systems is the water oxidation. The aim of this research has been to develop catalysts for water oxidation that are stable, yet efficient. The molecular catalysts are comprised of organic ligands that ultimately are responsible for the catalyst structure and activity. These ligands are often based on polypyridines or other nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds. This thesis describes the development of molecular ruthenium catalysts and the evaluation of their ability to mediate chemical and photochemical oxidation of water. Previous work from our group has shown that the introduction of negatively charged groups into the ligand frameworks lowers the redox potentials of the metal complexes. This is beneficial as it makes it possible to drive water oxidation with [Ru(bpy)3]3+-type oxidants (bpy = 2,2’-bipyridine), which can be photochemically generated from the corresponding [Ru(bpy)3]2+ complex. Hence, all the designed ligands herein contain negatively charged groups in the coordination site for ruthenium.The first part of this thesis describes the development of two mononuclear ruthenium complexes and the evaluation of these for water oxidation. Both complexes displayed low redox potentials, allowing for water oxidation to be driven either chemically or photochemically using the mild one-electron oxidant [Ru(bpy)3]3+.The second part is a structure–activity relationship study on several analogues of mononuclear ruthenium complexes. The complexes were active for water oxidation and the redox potentials of the analogues displayed a linear relationship with the Hammet σmeta parameter. It was also found that the complexes form high-valent Ru(VI) species, which are responsible for mediating O–O bond formation.The last part of the thesis describes the development of a dinuclear ruthenium complex and the catalytic performance for chemical and photochemical water oxidation. It was found that the complex undergoes O–O bond formation via a bridging peroxide intermediate, i.e. an I2M–type mechanism.