Copper-Based Water-Oxidation Electrocatalysts; Design, Synthesis and Characterization Grant

Copper-Based Water-Oxidation Electrocatalysts; Design, Synthesis and Characterization .


  • With this award from the Chemical Catalysis Program of the Division of Chemistry of the National Science Foundation Professor Raphael Raptis from the Florida International University develop new, bio-inspired, water-oxidation electrocatalysts. This research is based on the idea that a catalyst leading to dioxygen-to-water reduction (such as that observed in an enzyme having a tricopper oxygenase) can be judiciously modified to catalyze the water-to-dioxygen oxidation. Specifically, the work plan consists of efforts to synthesize a hexanuclear copper-pyrazolato scaffold, which will be able to deprotonate water twice, forming coordinated oxide-ions, and template the formation of oxygen-oxygen bonds, upon oxidation. The synthetic work will be theory-driven and will aim at tuning the redox properties of the copper-oxo assembly as to favor O-based oxidation over a Cu-based one. Structural, spectroscopic, magnetic and electrochemical studies of the new complexes will guide the computation of the thermodynamic parameters for this process. The new electrocatalysts will be anchored on electrode surfaces in order to evaluate their electrochemical performance.This research will aim at low-cost electrocatalysts development using Earth-abundant metal, copper, which will achieve the oxidation of water to dioxygen at a low redox potential. This will make the splitting of water an economically viable means of producing hydrogen fuel. The project also provides its participants with training opportunities in a contemporary, multidisciplinary research field, exposing them at the same time to the work of our local and international collaborators. Dissemination of the project results is accomplished via a host of community outreach activities.

date/time interval

  • September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2017

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 1213683