Electrochemistry Everywhere

Data collected from the electrochemistry studies from the last few weeks gave us interesting results on the metal ligand complexes, leading to the growth of the family. There are a variety of studies that are done using electrochemistry, one of which is changing the acid concentration the complex is tested in. The main metal complex I studied the past academic year was found to decompose after being exposed to air during this test, making it a bit difficult to conduct the study. However, this particular complex is shown to reduce hydrogen at a more positive reduction potential than the one it is based off of, supporting our hypothesis about the effects of electron donating and withdrawing groups. Currently I am conducting a study where the complex is dissolved in buffer solutions of varying pH to determine how well the complex works in different acidic conditions, particularly pH 7 since the ultimate goal is to synthesize a complex that works in water. The next goal is to obtain various electrochemistry results that give insight into the mechanism and characteristics of the catalytic ability of the complex to generate hydrogen.

The family of ligands grew as a wider variety of substituent groups were added to the primary ligand. The main reason for this is to build a series of metal-ligand complexes that show the effects of electron donating and withdrawing groups on the ability of the metal center to generate hydrogen. To this end, I helped synthesize three more complexes that vary greatly in terms of substituents or the metal center. The plan for the next couple of weeks is to run more studies to gather data on the many complexes available. I am excited to see what data we collect from this next group of complexes, as it can only add insight to the series we are trying to build.