Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




William R. McNamara

Committee Members

Christopher J. Abelt

Tyler K. Meldrum

Erin M. Webster


The usage of fossil fuels for energetic purposes has resulted in global climate change and a host of environmental issues. In order to combat these issues, alternative energy sources must be explored and improved. Among the potential alternative sources, two chemical reactions are of great interest: the hydrogen evolution reaction, which splits water to form hydrogen gas that can be used for energetic and industrial purposes, and the oxygen reduction reaction, which reduces oxygen to water and is used in hydrogen fuel cells. Here we report two metal complexes with antipyrine type ligands relevant to the hydrogen evolution reaction, an iron complex which shows promise as a potential photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution and a zinc complex used to elucidate the mechanism of hydrogen evolution in this iron complex. Additionally, we report a copper antipyrine complex which acts as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction. In our studies, it has shown activity for the two-electron reduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide, and further studies are underway to determine its activity for the four-electron reduction of oxygen to water.

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