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Ruthenium Complexes of Polyfluorocarbon Substituted Terpyridine and Mesoionic Carbene Ligands: An Interplay in CO2 Reduction

In recent years terpyridines (tpy) and mesoionic carbenes (MIC) have been widely used in metal complexes. With the right combination with a metal center, both of these ligands are individually known to generate excellent catalysts for CO2 reduction. In this study, we combine the potentials of PFC (PFC = polyfluorocarbon) substituted tpy and MIC ligands within the same platform to obtain a new class of complexes, which we investigated with respect to their structural, electrochemical and UV/Vis/NIR spectroelectrochemical properties. We further show that the resulting metal complexes are potent electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction in which CO is exclusively formed with a faradaic efficiency of 92%. A preliminary mechanistic study, including the isolation and characterization of a key intermediate is also reported.

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