A nickel(II) complex under water-oxidation reaction: what is the true catalyst?
In the present study, the water-oxidizing activity of nickel(II) phthalocyanine-tetrasulfonate tetrasodium (1), which is a stable Ni(II) complex under moderate conditions, was investigated. The role of Ni oxide in water oxidation as a true catalyst was investigated. The electrodes after water oxidation by both the complex and Ni salt were analyzed and a relation was proposed between the decomposition of the Ni complex and water oxidation. On the surface of the electrode, there are some areas without any detectable nanoparticles; thus, the detection of such Ni oxides on the surface of the electrode is not easy in the first seconds of the reaction, even using some of the usual methods such as Scanning Electron Microscopy or electrochemical analysis. Such experiments indicated that a precise analysis is necessary to reject the role of nanoparticles in the presence of Ni phthalocyanine under water oxidation. The findings also showed that under water-oxidation conditions and in the presence of the complex, Ni oxide is a good candidate for a true catalyst.