Date Thesis Awarded

5-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Chemistry

Advisor

William R. McNamara

Committee Member

Randolph Chambers

Committee Member

Robert J. Hinkle

Committee Member

Gary W. Rice

Abstract

An iron polypyridyl complex has been synthesized, characterized, and shown to be both an electro- and photocatalyst for proton reduction. Electrochemically, the complex is active in both organic and aqueous solutions, with a reduction potential of -1.17 V vs SCE in CH3CN. This corresponds to a thermodynamic overpotential of 660 mV. The activity of the complex increases in 1:1 H2O/CH3CN solvent conditions. Additionally, it has been found to work in aqueous buffer solutions at pH 3-5. It has also been found that the reduction potential of the complex can be tuned by adding electron withdrawing and donating groups to the ligand.

Photocatalytic hydrogen evolution has been observed by the same complex in the presence of fluorescein and triethylamine in 1:1 EtOH/H2O solutions, achieving 2400 turnovers with respect to catalyst over 24 hours.

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