19 Jul 2012

Electrocatalysis and Proton Reduction

Five Slides About

Submitted by Matt Whited, Carleton College

These slides provide a brief introduction to the concept of electrocatalysis using the glyoximato cobalt catalysts for hydrogen production recently examined by Peters, Gray, and others.  They provide a suitable introduction to the topic for students interested in reading the primary literature on these topics.

File 5 Slides About Electrocatalysis.pptx481.93 KB
Learning Goals: 
  • A student should be able to define what an electrocatalyst is and the general mechanism by which an electrocatalyst operates.
  • A student should be able to identify a cyclic voltammetric trace corresponding to an operating electrocatalyst and explain why it is different from the electrochemistry of the same complex in the absence of substrate.
  • A student should be able to identify the important features in evaluating the efficiency of an electrocatalyst and define the term "overpotential".
Implementation Notes: 

This set of slides is recommended as background reading (or in-class presentation) for students working on the LO developed from the Valdez et al. PNAS paper "Catalytic hydrogen evolution from a covalently linked dicobaloxime" (the LO is referenced above).

Time Required: 
10-15 minutes
Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence


Thank you for this. Used it this evening to educate myself! The extra notes with the slides are very helpful.

Hi There,

Really great slides!

I think there may be an error in the table on the last page.  The name of the last entry should be Co(dpgBF2)2 instead of Co(dmgBF2)2, right, since the phenyl derivative should have less overpotential?



Sorry, I cut and pasted the graphic from a different source and didn't even think to check for the error.  I have fixed the file... thanks!

These slides are super nice! I will be using them in my class.

Matt, I used your slides today in my class discussion they were quite helpful! The students read the article the night before and we discussed it in class. I asked the students to first summarize the purpose of the research effort. Responses included, "generation of H2 for solar water splitting device, generating hydrogen from an acidic solution, mechanisms for hydrogen evolution, role of electrocatalyst and reaction conditions, catalyst that mimics hydrogenase."  I then asked the students to briefly describe what CV, but more specifically what can you learn from CV? Responses varied, but included, "electrochemical technique that measures current vs. electrode potential, reversibility of a redox reaction, kinetics, and etc."  The students learn about CV in analytical and p-chem, but we don't have any CV instrumentation in-house.


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