Voltage-Gated Electrocatalysis of Efficient and Selective Methane Oxidation by Tricopper Clusters under Ambient Conditions

Yi-Fang Tsai, Thiyagarajan Natarajan, Zhi-Han Lin, I-Kuen Tsai, Damodar Janmanchi, Sunney I. Chan, Steve S.-F. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Selective methane oxidation is difficult chemistry. Here we describe a strategy for the electrocatalysis of selective methane oxidation by immobilizing tricopper catalysts on the cathodic surface. In the presence of dioxygen and methane, the activation of these catalysts above a threshold cathodic potential can initiate the dioxygen chemistry for O atom transfer to methane. The catalytic turnover is completed by facile electron injections into the tricopper catalysts from the electrode. This technology leads to dramatic enhancements in performance of the catalysts toward methane oxidation. Unprecedented turnover frequencies (>40 min–1) and high product throughputs (turnover numbers >30 000 in 12 h) are achieved for this challenging chemical transformation in water under ambient conditions. The technology is green and suitable for on-site direct conversion of methane into methanol.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
StatePublished - May 27 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-01
Acknowledgements: S.I.C. and S.S.S.F. acknowledge helpful discussions with Dr. David Wu, Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and Dr. Cafer T. Yavuz, Chemical Science, Physical Science and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudia Arabia.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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