Proton switch for modulating oxygen reduction by a copper electrocatalyst embedded in a hybrid bilayer membrane

Christopher J. Barile, Edmund C.M. Tse, Ying Li, Thomas B. Sobyra, Steven C. Zimmerman, Ali Hosseini, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Molecular switches gate many fundamental processes in natural and artificial systems. Here, we report the development of an electrochemical platform in which a proton carrier switches the activity of a catalyst. By incorporating an alkyl phosphate in the lipid layer of a hybrid bilayer membrane, we regulate proton transport to a Cu-based molecular oxygen reduction reaction catalyst. To construct this hybrid bilayer membrane system, we prepare an example of a synthetic Cu oxygen reduction reaction catalyst that forms a self-assembled monolayer on Au surfaces. We then embed this Cu catalyst inside a hybrid bilayer membrane by depositing a monolayer of lipid on the self-assembled monolayer. We envisage that this electrochemical system can give a unique mechanistic insight not only into the oxygen reduction reaction, but into proton-coupled electron transfer in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-623
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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