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  1. We report a new terpyridine-based FeN3O catalyst, Fe(tpytbupho)Cl2, which reduces O2 to H2O. Variable concentration and variable temperature spectrochemical studies with decamethylferrocene as a chemical reductant in acetonitrile solution enabled the elucidation of key reaction parameters for the catalytic reduction of O2 to H2O by Fe(tpytbupho)Cl2. These mechanistic studies suggest that a 2 + 2 mechanism is operative, where hydrogen peroxide is produced as a discrete intermediate, prior to further reduction to H2O. Consistent with this proposal, the spectrochemically measured first-order rate constant k (s−1) value for H2O2 reduction is larger than that for O2 reduction. Further, significant H2O2 production is observed under hydrodynamic conditions in rotating ring-disk electrode measurements, where the product can be swept away from the cathode surface before further reduction occurs.
  2. The two-electron and two-proton p -hydroquinone/ p -benzoquinone (H 2 Q/BQ) redox couple has mechanistic parallels to the function of ubiquinone in the electron transport chain. This proton-dependent redox behavior has shown applicability in catalytic aerobic oxidation reactions, redox flow batteries, and co-electrocatalytic oxygen reduction. Under nominally aprotic conditions in non-aqueous solvents, BQ can be reduced by up to two electrons in separate electrochemically reversible reactions. With weak acids (AH) at high concentrations, potential inversion can occur due to favorable hydrogen-bonding interactions with the intermediate monoanion [BQ(AH) m ]˙ − . The solvation shell created by these interactions can mediate a second one-electron reduction coupled to proton transfer at more positive potentials ([BQ(AH) m ]˙ − + n AH + e − ⇌ [HQ(AH) (m+n)−1 (A)] 2− ), resulting in an overall two electron reduction at a single potential at intermediate acid concentrations. Here we show that hydrogen-bonded adducts of reduced quinones and the proton donor 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFEOH) can mediate the transfer of electrons to a Mn-based complex during the electrocatalytic reduction of dioxygen (O 2 ). The Mn electrocatalyst is selective for H 2 O 2 with only TFEOH and O 2 present, however, with BQ present under sufficientmore »concentrations of TFEOH, an electrogenerated [H 2 Q(AH) 3 (A) 2 ] 2− adduct (where AH = TFEOH) alters product selectivity to 96(±0.5)% H 2 O in a co-electrocatalytic fashion. These results suggest that hydrogen-bonded quinone anions can function in an analogous co-electrocatalytic manner to H 2 Q.« less
  3. Pentacoordinate Al catalysts comprising bipyridine (bpy) and phenanthroline (phen) backbones were synthesized and their catalytic activity in epoxide/anhydride copolymerization was investigated and compared to ( t-Bu salph)AlCl. Stoichiometric reactions of tricyclic anhydrides with Al alkoxide complexes produced ring-opened products that were characterized by NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and X-ray crystallography, revealing key regio- and stereochemical aspects.