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A binuclear cobalt complex for molecular CO$_2$ electrocatalysis


A pyrazole–based ligand substituted with terpyridine groups at the 3 and 5positions has been synthesized to form the dinuclear cobalt complex 1, that electrocatalytically reduces carbon dioxide (CO$_2$) to carbon monoxide (CO) in the presence of Brønsted acids in DMF. Chemical, electrochemical and UV–vis spectro–electrochemical studies under inert atmosphere indicate a single 2 electron reduction process of complex 1 at first, followed by a 1 electron reduction at the ligand. Infrared spectro–electrochemical studies under CO$_2$ and CO atmosphere allowed us to identify a reduced CO–containing dicobalt complex which results from the electroreduction of CO$_2$. In the presence of trifluoroethanol (TFE), electrocatalytic studies revealed single–site mechanism with up to 94 % selectivity towards CO formation when 1.47 M TFE were present, at –1.35 V vs Saturated Calomel Electrode in DMF (0.39 V overpotential). The low faradaic efficiencies obtained (<50%) are attributed to the generation of CO–containing species formed during the electrocatalytic process, which inhibit the reduction of CO$_2$.
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cea-03468211 , version 1 (07-12-2021)


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Antoine Bohn, Juan José Moreno, Pierre Thuéry, Marc Robert, Orestes Rivada-Wheelaghan. A binuclear cobalt complex for molecular CO$_2$ electrocatalysis. 2021. ⟨cea-03468211⟩
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