Hydrogen evolution catalysis by terminal molybdenum-oxo complexes

Pinky Yadav, Izana Nigel-Etinger, Amit Kumar, Amir Mizrahi, Atif Mahammed, Natalia Fridman, Sophia Lipstman, Israel Goldberg, Zeev Gross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stable complexes with terminal triply bound metal-oxygen bonds are usually not considered as valuable catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). We now report the preparation of three conceptually different (oxo)molybdenum(V) corroles for testing if proton-assisted 2-electron reduction will lead to hyper-reactive molybdenum(III) capable of converting protons to hydrogen gas. The upto 670 mV differences in the [(oxo)Mo(IV)]-/[(oxo)Mo(III)]−2 redox potentials of the dissolved complexes came into effect by the catalytic onset potential for proton reduction thereby, significantly earlier than their reduction process in the absence of acids, but the two more promising complexes were not stable at practical conditions. Under heterogeneous conditions, the smallest and most electron-withdrawing catalyst did excel by all relevant criteria, including a 97% Faradaic efficiency for catalyzing HER from acidic water. This suggests complexes based on molybdenum, the only sustainable heavy transition metal, as catalysts for other yet unexplored green-energy-relevant processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102924
Issue number8
StatePublished - 20 Aug 2021


  • Catalysis
  • Chemical reaction
  • Chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Molecular inorganic chemistry


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