Cu complexes of 2,2'-dipicolylamine (DPA) were prepared and tested as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). To study the effect of multinuclearity on the ORR, two Cu-DPA units were connected with a flexible linker, and a third metal-binding pocket was installed in the ligand framework. ORR onset potentials and the diffusion-limited current densities of di- and tricopper complexes of DPA derivatives were found to be comparable to those of the simpler Cu-DPA system. Electrochemical analyses, crystallographic data, and metal-substitution studies suggested that Cu complexes of DPA derivatives reacted with O2 via a binuclear intermolecular pathway but that the Cu center in the third binding site did not participate in the ORR process. This study highlights the viability of Cu-DPA complexes to mimic the T3-site of laccase, and serves as a guide for designing future laccase models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry