The generation of solar fuels by means of a photosynthetic apparatus strongly relies on the development of an efficient water oxidation catalyst (WOC). Cerium ammonium nitrate (CAN) is the most commonly used sacrificial oxidant to explore the potentiality of WOCs. It is usually assumed that CAN has the unique role to oxidatively energize WOCs, making them capable to offer a low-energy reaction pathway to transform H2O to O2. Herein, we show that CAN might have a much more relevant and direct role in WO, mainly related to the capture and liberation of O−O-containing molecular moieties.
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