Photoinduced hydrogen evolution with new tetradentate cobalt(ii) complexes based on the TPMA ligand†
Hydrogen production from water splitting is nowadays recognized as a target, fundamental reaction for the production of clean fuels. Indeed, tremendous efforts have been devoted towards the research of suitable catalysts capable of performing this reaction. With respect to heterogeneous systems, molecular catalysts such as metal complexes are amenable to chemical functionalization in order to fine tune the catalytic properties. In this paper a new class of tris(2-pyridylmethyl)-amine (TPMA) cobalt(II) complexes (CoL0–4) has been synthesized and employed as hydrogen evolving catalysts under photochemical conditions taking advantage of Ru(bpy)32+ (where bpy is 2,2′-bipyridine) as a light-harvesting sensitizer and ascorbic acid as a sacrificial electron donor. Tuning of the photocatalytic activity has been attempted through the introduction of different substituents at the catalyst periphery rather than through a direct chemical modification of the chelating TPMA ligand. The results show that CoL0–4 behave as competent hydrogen evolving catalysts (HECs), although the effects played by the different substituents on the catalysis are relatively modest. Possible reasons supporting the observed behavior as well as possible improvements of the aforementioned tuning approach are discussed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Small Molecule Activation