A Co4O4 cubane water oxidation catalyst inspired by photosynthesis

Nicholas S. McCool, David M. Robinson, John E. Sheats, G. Charles Dismukes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

274 Scopus citations


Herein we describe the molecular Co4O4 cubane complex Co4O4(OAc)4(py)4 (1), which catalyzes efficient water oxidizing activity when powered by a standard photochemical oxidation source or electrochemical oxidation. The pH dependence of catalysis, the turnover frequency, and in situ monitoring of catalytic species have revealed the intrinsic capabilities of this core type. The catalytic activity of complex 1 and analogous Mn4O4 cubane complexes is attributed to the cubical core topology, which is analogous to that of nature's water oxidation catalyst, a cubical CaMn4O 5 cluster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11446-11449
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number30
StatePublished - Aug 3 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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