Department of Chemistry
ADVENTURES IN PROTON-COUPLED ELECTRON TRANSFER:
from Hydrogen Atom Transfer to Electrocatalysis to Nanocrystals
A wide range of chemical processes proceed by proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET), from combustion to fuel cells to redox processes of minerals. This presentation will begin with fundamental studies of single reaction steps that involve transfer of one proton and one electron. Some of these reactions ‘look like’ transfer of a hydrogen atom, while in other reactions the electron and proton are quite separated in the reactants or products. The rate constants for many of these reactions, both organic and transition metal reactions, can be understood using a version of Marcus Theory. These PCET concepts are being used to develop and understand new electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction, and to provide new insights into the redox reaction chemistry of nanoscale oxide materials.