Stabilization and activation of molecular oxygen at biomimetic tetrapyrroles on surfaces: from UHV to near-ambient pressure
Recent advances in the development of surface science methods have allowed bridging, at least partially, the pressure gap between the ultra-high vacuum environment and some applicative conditions. This step has been particularly critical for the characterization of heterogenous catalytic systems (solid–liquid, solid–gas interfaces) and, specifically, of the electronic, structural, and chemical properties of tetrapyrroles at surfaces when arranged in 2D networks. Within a biomimetic picture, in which 2D metalorganic frameworks are expected to model and reproduce in a tailored way the activity of their biochemical proteic counterparts, the fundamental investigation of the adsorption and activation of small ligands at the single-metal atom reaction sites has progressively gained increasing attention. Concerning oxygen, biology offers a variety of tetrapyrrole-based transport and reaction pockets, as e.g. in haemoglobin, myoglobin or cytochrome proteins. Binding and activation of O2 are accomplished thanks to complex charge transfer and spin realignment processes, sometimes requiring cooperative mechanisms. Within the framework of surface science at near-ambient pressure (towards and beyond the mbar regime), recent progress has unveiled novel and interesting properties of 2D metalorganic frameworks and heterostacks based on self-assembled tetrapyrroles, thus opening possible, effective applicative routes in the fields of light harvesting, heterogenous (electro-)catalysts, chemical sensing, and spintronics.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles