Corinna R. Hess

Bio-inspired multi-cofactor catalysts

Our research program is focused on the development of new molecular inorganic electro- and photocatalysts for small molecule chemistry (e.g. H2 production and O2 activation) and organic transformations. The research is central to bioinorganic chemistry and critical for renewable energy and sustainable chemistry processes. Our strategy - inspired in large part by metalloenzymes - entails the development of ‘multi-cofactor’ complexes. These complexes include multiple metal sites and/or redox-active organic functionalities, and consist of inexpensive, earth-abundant metals. We are generally interested in understanding factors and devising strategies to control cooperative interactions in multinuclear complexes. The multinuclear systems exhibit unique electronic structures, and allow for a detailed understanding of how to tune and harness M···M interactions for reactivity. We employ a range of analytical methods to characterize the electronic structures, redox properties, photochemistry and reactivity of our complexes.

Key publications:

The Flexible On-Surface Self-Assembly of a Low-Symmetry Mabiq Ligand: An Unconventional Metal-Assisted Phase Transformation on Ag(111), F. Haag, P. S. Deimel, P. Knecht, L. Niederegger, K. Seufert, M. G. Cuxart, Y. Bao, A. C. Papageorgiou, M. Muntwiler, W. Auwärter, C. R. Hess,* J. V. Barth, F. Allegretti,* J. Phys. Chem. C 2021, 125, 23178–23191.

H2 Evolution from Electrocatalysts with Redox-Active Ligands: Mechanistic Insights from Theory and Experiment vis-à-vis Co-Mabiq, G. C. Tok, S. Reiter, A. T. S. Freiberg, L. Reinschlüssel, H. A. Gasteiger, R. de Vivie-Riedle,* C. R. Hess,* Inorg. Chem. 2021, 60, 13888–13902.

The central role of the metal ion for photoactivity: Zn- vs. Ni-Mabiq, R. Lauenstein, S. L. Mader, H. Derondeau, O. Z. Esezobor, M. Block, A. J. Römer, C. Jandl, E. Riedle, V. R. I. Kaila, J. Hauer, E. Thyrhaug,* C. R. Hess,* Chem. Sci. 202112, 7521–7532.