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Copper(II) Catalysis of Water Oxidation

Authors

  • Dr. Zuofeng Chen,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (USA)
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  • Prof. Thomas J. Meyer

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (USA)
    • Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (USA)
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  • Funding by the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) for Solar Fuels, an EFRC funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (DE-SC0001011, supporting Z.-F.C. for the electrochemical experiments), and the Army Research Office (W911NF-09-1-0426, supporting Z.-F.C. for product analysis), is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Prof. R. W. Murray for helpful discussions.

Abstract

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Copper leads to a breakup: Simple CuII salts are shown to be highly reactive as water oxidation electrocatalysts in neutral to weakly basic aqueous buffer solutions of CO2/HCO3/CO32− or HPO42−/PO43−. Coordination to the buffer anions under these conditions prevents the precipitation of Cu(OH)2, CuCO3, or Cu3(PO4)2 and appears to stabilize higher oxidation states of copper.

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