Increased stability of (μ-1,3-propanedithiolato)-diironhexacarbonyl anion, and new electrocatalytic pathways for molecular hydrogen production

Gabriel B. Hall, Laura M.S. Whelan, Greg A.N. Felton, Shihua Wang, Dennis H. Evans, Richard S. Glass, Dennis L. Lichtenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Inexpensive and efficient production of molecular hydrogen is crucial to a renewable energy economy. Hydrogen production catalyzed by [μ-1,3-C3H6S2]Fe2(CO)6 (1), and [μ-1,3-C3H4(1,3-CH3)2S2]Fe2(CO)6 (2), which have features similar to the active sites of [FeFe]hydrogenases, are being studied. The electronic structure of 2 is found to be very similar to that of the previously studied catalyst 1 as probed by photoelectron and infrared spectroscopies. However, reduction of 1 is largely irreversible on the cyclic voltammetry (CV) time scale and has been shown to form a dimer, whereas the reduction of 2 is reversible on the CV time scale. The catalyzed reduction of protons from weak acids with pKa values from 18 to 25 in acetonitrile has revealed new catalytic mechanisms occurring at significantly less negative reduction potentials than previously observed. Possible pathways of these new mechanisms are examined by density functional theory and simulation of the electrochemical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2011
Event241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2011Mar 31 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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