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Nat Chem. 2011 Jan;3(1):38-41. doi: 10.1038/nchem.905. Epub 2010 Nov 28.

Highly efficient photocatalytic oxygenation reactions using water as an oxygen source.

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  • 1Department of Material and Life Science, Division of Advanced Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, SORST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


The effective utilization of solar energy requires photocatalytic reactions with high quantum efficiency. Water is the most abundant reactant that can be used as an oxygen source in efficient photocatalytic reactions, just as nature uses water in an oxygenic photosynthesis. We report that photocatalytic oxygenation of organic substrates such as sodium p-styrene sulfonate occurs with nearly 100% quantum efficiency using manganese(III) porphyrins as an oxygenation catalyst, [Ru(II)(bpy)(3)](2+) (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine) as a photosensitized electron-transfer catalyst, [Co(III)(NH(3))(5)Cl](2+) as a low-cost and weak one-electron oxidant, and water as an oxygen source in a phosphate buffer solution (pH 7.4). A high-valent manganese-oxo porphyrin is proposed as an active oxidant that effects the oxygenation reactions.

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