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Theoretical Insight into the Performance of MnII/III-Monosubstituted Heteropolytungstates as Water Oxidation Catalysts

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journal contribution
posted on 11.11.2019, 14:33 by Xiao-Fang Su, Li-Kai Yan, Zhong-Min Su
The performance of MnII/III-monosubstituted heteropolytungstates [MnIII(H2O)­GeW11O39]5– ([GT-MnIII-OH2]5–, where GT = GeW11O39) and [MnII(H2O)­GeW11O39]6– ([GT-MnII-OH2]6–) as water oxidation catalysts at pH 9 was explored using density functional theory calculations. The counterion effect was fully considered, in which five and six Na+ ions were included in the calculations for water oxidation catalyzed by [GT-MnIII-OH2]5– and [GT-MnII-OH2]6–, respectively. The process of water oxidation catalysis was divided into three elemental stages: (i) oxidative activation, (ii) O–O bond formation, and (iii) O2 evolution. In the oxidative activation stage, two electrons and two protons are removed from [Na5-GT-MnIII-OH2] and three electrons and two protons are removed from [Na6-GT-MnII-OH2]. Therefore, the MnIV-O species [Na5-GT-MnIV-O] is obtained. Two mechanisms, (i) water nucleophilic attack and (ii) oxo–oxo coupling, were demonstrated to be competitive in O–O bond formation triggered from [Na5-GT-MnIV-O]. In the last stage, the O2 molecule could be readily evolved from the peroxo or dinuclear species and the catalyst returns to the ground state after the coordination of a water molecule(s).