In the quest for new, efficient, and noble-metal-free H2-evolution catalysts, hydrogenase enzymes are a source of inspiration. Here, we describe the development of a new hybrid material based on a structural and functional [NiFe]-hydrogenase model complex (NiFe) incorporated into the Zr-based MOF PCN-777. The bulk NiFe@PCN-777 material was synthesized by simple encapsulation. Characterization by solid-state NMR and IR spectroscopy, SEM-EDX, ICP-OES, and gas adsorption confirmed the inclusion of the guest. FTO-supported thin films of the NiFe@PCN-777 composite were obtained by electrophoretic deposition of the bulk material and characterized by SEM-EDX, ICP-OES, and cyclic voltammetry. The average surface concentration of electroactive NiFe catalyst in the film was found to be â¼9.6 Ã 10-10mol cm-2, implying that a surprisingly high fraction (37%) of NiFe units incorporated in the MOF are electroactive. By cyclic voltammetry, we showed that NiFe maintains its electrocatalytic capabilities for H+reduction inside the MOF cavities, even if under controlled-potential electrolysis conditions the activity of NiFe cannot be discerned from that of free PCN-777 and FTO.
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