Synthesis and Analysis of a family of Cobalt Complexes for AP

After submitting the paper, I began working on novel cobalt-based catalysts for proton reduction.  These catalysts are valuable due to their cost-effective reagents.  So far, we have synthesized two of the three cobalt complexes.  Structurally, the complexes look very similar to each other, with the exception of electron withdrawing/electron donating groups that will affect activity and efficiency.  The electron withdrawing groups pull electron density away from the metal center, which, in theory, will facilitate the reduction of the complex due to the more positive character of the center.  The electron donating groups may worsen efficiency, but also have the potential to increase activity.  I have been synthesizing these complexes and running electrochemical experiments on them in order to measure their catalytic activity.  The synthesis itself is very straightforward, since it is a one pot synthesis, in air, that refluxes for only two hours.  Then, the solution is filtered, and the concentrate can be used to crystallize out the complex with a slow diffusion crystallization technique.

We are pushing forward with electrochemical studies.  The studies are producing interesting results, and I look forward to seeing how these complexes perform photocatalytically in the future.