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Nat Chem. 2014 Apr;6(4):362-7. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1874. Epub 2014 Feb 23.

Time-resolved observations of water oxidation intermediates on a cobalt oxide nanoparticle catalyst.

Author information

1
Physical Biosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720.
2
1] Physical Biosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720 [2].

Abstract

In any artificial photosynthetic system, the oxidation of water to molecular oxygen provides the electrons needed for the reduction of protons or carbon dioxide to a fuel. Understanding how this four-electron reaction works in detail is important for the development of improved robust catalysts made of Earth-abundant materials, like first-row transition-metal oxides. Here, using time-resolved Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and under reaction conditions, we identify intermediates of water oxidation catalysed by an abundant metal-oxide catalyst, cobalt oxide (Co3O4). One intermediate is a surface superoxide (three-electron oxidation intermediate absorbing at 1,013 cm(-1)), whereas a second observed intermediate is attributed to an oxo Co(IV) site (one-electron oxidation intermediate absorbing at 840 cm(-1)). The temporal behaviour of the intermediates reveals that they belong to different catalytic sites. Knowledge of the structure and kinetics of surface intermediates will enable the design of improved metal-oxide materials for more efficient water oxidation catalysis.

PMID:
24651205
DOI:
10.1038/nchem.1874

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