Abstract: Small molecule activation often requires both protons and electrons. This includes chemical transformations key to sustainable energy and environment e.g. reduction of H+, O2, CO2 and N2. Similarly, mono-oxygenation of organic molecules using molecular oxygen, a process often described as the Holy grail of chemistry, requires protons and electrons. Erstwhile mechanistic investigations on metallo-enzyme active sites which catalyses these reactions have revealed that the proton and electron delivery often occur in distinct chemical steps and in many cases, coupled, in the same steps. This talk to focus on control of proton and electron delivery in synthetic inorganic molecular catalysts to achieve efficient catalysis using a combination of synthesis, self-assembly, in-situ spectroscopy and electrochemistry. This includes catalysts for hydrogen generation, oxygen reduction, organic substrate oxidation using O2 and CO2 reduction; all under aqueous environment and ambient conditions.
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