A new copper species based on an azo-compound utilized as a homogeneous catalyst for water oxidation†
A new azo-complex [(L)CuII(NO3)] [L = (E)-3-(pyridin-2-yldiazenyl)naphthalen-2-ol (HL)], was prepared via a one-pot synthetic method at 60 °C and was structurally characterized by IR, EA, PXRD and single crystal X-ray diffraction. In addition, TGA studies indicated that the complex was stable in air. The redox properties were determined by cyclic voltammetry, which revealed that the complex could be utilized as a catalyst for water oxidation under mild conditions. Subsequently, the complex was employed as a catalyst to take part in water oxidation reaction in the presence of a CeIV salt utilized as an oxidant at pH 11 in PBS (Phosphate Buffered Saline) solution. The results suggested that the catalyst exhibited a high stability and activity toward water oxidation reaction under these conditions with an initial TOF of 4.0 kPa h−1. Calculation methodology was performed to study the mechanism of the reaction, which revealed that in this catalytic process, the initial oxidation of Cu(II) to Cu(III) occurred by the formation of an intermediate “Cu(III)–O–O–Cu(III)”. The formation of this intermediate, resulted in a release of oxygen and closing of the catalytic cycle.