Cyclopentadienyl Cobalt Complexes as Precatalysts for Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution

Kate M. Waldie, Sung Kwan Kim, Andrew J. Ingram, Robert M. Waymouth

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9 Scopus citations


Electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution is reported with a series of dicationic cobalt complexes [CpCo(N^N)(CH3CN)](ClO4)2 (Cp = cyclopentadienyl; N^N = bipyridine, pyrazolylpyridine, phenylazopyridine) using N,N-dimethylformamidinium buffer as the proton source in acetonitrile. The catalytic current profiles obtained for each complex are very similar to each other with overpotentials ranging from 1.2 to 1.4 V, which suggests a common active catalytic species. Further electrochemical studies demonstrate that these complexes are unstable under electrocatalytic conditions: the bidentate nitrogen ligand is readily lost upon reduction in the presence of acid, initially generating [CpCo(CH3CN)3]+, which undergoes further decomposition to surface-adsorbed species that are responsible for the observed electrocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2755-2761
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 26 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • Cobalt
  • Electrochemistry
  • Hydrogen
  • Proton reduction

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