LI Can and GUAN Jingqi from CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, inspired from the natural photosystem-II multi-nuclear manganese (CaMn4O5) reaction center, have developed a heterogeneous catalyst with mononuclear manganese embedded in nitrogen-doped graphene (Mn-NG). It exhibited a turnover frequency up to 214 s−1 for chemical water oxidation and an electrochemical overpotential as low as 337 mV at a current density of 10 mA cm−2. Structural characterization and density functional theory calculations revealed that the high activity of Mn-NG can be attributed to the mononuclear manganese ion coordinated with four nitrogen atoms embedded in the graphene matrix.

Nature Catalysis