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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 20, 2024
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  5. Earth-abundant oxygen evolution catalysts (OECs) with extended stability in acid can be constructed by embedding active sites within an acid-stable metal-oxide framework. Here, we report stable NiPbOxfilms that are able to perform oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysis for extended periods of operation (>20 h) in acidic solutions of pH 2.5; conversely, native NiOxcatalyst films dissolve immediately. In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal that PbO2is unperturbed after addition of Ni and/or Fe into the lattice, which serves as an acid-stable, conductive framework for embedded OER active centers. The ability to perform OER in acid allows the mechanism of Fe doping on Ni catalysts to be further probed. Catalyst activity with Fe doping of oxidic Ni OEC under acid conditions, as compared to neutral or basic conditions, supports the contention that role of Fe3+in enhancing catalytic activity in Ni oxide catalysts arises from its Lewis acid properties.

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  6. Abstract

    In the past decade, transition metal complexes have gained momentum as electron spin‐based quantum bit (qubit) candidates due to their synthetic tunability and long achievable coherence times. The decoherence of magnetic quantum states imposes a limit on the use of these qubits for quantum information technologies, such as quantum computing, sensing, and communication. With rapid recent development in the field of molecular quantum information science, a variety of chemical design principles for prolonging coherence in molecular transition metal qubits have been proposed. Here the spin‐spin, motional, and spin‐phonon regimes of decoherence are delineated, outlining design principles for each. It is shown how dynamic ligand field models can provide insights into the intramolecular vibrational contributions in the spin‐phonon decoherence regime. This minireview aims to inform the development of molecular quantum technologies tailored for different environments and conditions.

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  7. A direct, catalytic conversion of benzene to phenol would have wide-reaching economic impacts. Fe zeolites exhibit a remarkable combination of high activity and selectivity in this conversion, leading to their past implementation at the pilot plant level. There were, however, issues related to catalyst deactivation for this process. Mechanistic insight could resolve these issues, and also provide a blueprint for achieving high performance in selective oxidation catalysis. Recently, we demonstrated that the active site of selective hydrocarbon oxidation in Fe zeolites, named α-O, is an unusually reactive Fe(IV)=O species. Here, we apply advanced spectroscopic techniques to determine that the reaction of this Fe(IV)=O intermediate with benzene in fact regenerates the reduced Fe(II) active site, enabling catalytic turnover. At the same time, a small fraction of Fe(III)-phenolate poisoned active sites form, defining a mechanism for catalyst deactivation. Density-functional theory calculations provide further insight into the experimentally defined mechanism. The extreme reactivity of α-O significantly tunes down (eliminates) the rate-limiting barrier for aromatic hydroxylation, leading to a diffusion-limited reaction coordinate. This favors hydroxylation of the rapidly diffusing benzene substrate over the slowly diffusing (but more reactive) oxygenated product, thereby enhancing selectivity. This defines a mechanism to simultaneously attain high activity (conversion) and selectivity, enabling the efficient oxidative upgrading of inert hydrocarbon substrates.

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