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Learning from Nature: Charge Transfer and Carbon Dioxide Activation at Single, Biomimetic Fe Sites in Tetrapyrroles on Graphene

Corva, Manuel, Mohamed, Fatema, Tomsic, Erika, Rinaldi, Matteo, Cepek, Cinzia, Seriani, Nicola, Peressi, Maria, Vesselli, Erik
Journal of physical chemistry 2019 v.123 no.6 pp. 3916-3922
adsorption, ambient temperature, binding sites, biomimetics, carbon dioxide, density functional theory, graphene, iron, oxidation, oxygen, scaffolding proteins
Nature determines selectivity and activity in biological reactive centers, based on single metal atom macrocycles, by properly tuning the primary coordination sphere and the surrounding protein scaffold. In a biomimetic approach, we show that activation of carbon dioxide at a 2D crystal of phthalocyanines supported by graphene can be controlled by chemical tuning of the position of the Dirac cones of the support through oxygen adsorption. The room temperature stabilization of the CO₂–Fe chemical bond, detected in situ and confirmed by computational density-functional theory simulations, is obtained by governing the charge transfer across the graphene–metallorganic layer interface upon oxidation of graphene at close-to-ambient conditions. In this way, we can turn a weakly binding site into a strong one in an artificial structure that mimics many features of complex biological systems.