Nanocarbon materials are potential catalysts that could directly catalyze water oxidation to produce O2 (OER) through surface oxygen groups. Although a lot of achievements regarding catalytic mechanisms have been reported, the understandings for real active sites of carbon catalysts in OER are still controversially discussed due to the inevitable coexistence of diverse oxygen functional groups.
Aromatic organic molecules with designated oxygen species as model catalysts allow us to gain insight into the explicit role of each oxygen group at a molecular level. It is demonstrated that the quinone functional groups play a crucial role for achieving the OER process and each C=O is demonstrated experimentally to contribute independently to the OER.
The research that led to these findings was carried out by a team in the "Carbon Synthesis and Applications" group at the MPI CEC, headed by Dr. Saskia Heumann. These results have recently been included into "JACS Young Investigators Virtual Issue 2019".
The issue is an ACS Select virtual issue "based upon the outstanding work of young investigators published in 2018 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society". "This collection of Articles and Communications highlights premier research in diverse topical areas from around the world that is of broad interest to the contemporary readership of JACS. These carefully selected publications were chosen by the appropriate, knowledgeable JACS Editors on the basis of reviewer input and editorial evaluation." (source: ACS Website)
Original publication: Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation at Quinone-on-Carbon: A Model System Study. Yangming Lin, Kuang-Hsu Wu, Qing Lu, Qingqing Gu, Liyun Zhang, Bingsen Zhang, Dangsheng Su, Milivoj Plodinec, Robert Schlögl, and Saskia Heumann. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 140 (44), 14717-14724 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b07627