Photocatalytic Oxygenation Reactions Using Water and Dioxygen

Shunichi Fukuzumi, Yong Min Lee, Wonwoo Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Water (H2O) is the most environmentally benign reductant and is oxidized to evolve dioxygen (O2)—the greenest oxidant—in photosystem II. This Minireview focuses on photocatalytic oxygenation of substrates with H2O as an oxygen source and O2 as an oxidant. Metal complexes can be oxidized by two molecules of one-electron oxidants with H2O to produce high-valent metal–oxo complexes, which act as active oxidants for oxygenating organic substrates. When an appropriate oxidant is employed for the substrate oxidation, the reduced oxidant can be oxidized by dioxygen to regenerate the oxidant when water and dioxygen are used as an oxygen source and an oxidant, respectively. Photoinduced electron transfer from a substrate (S) to the excited state of complex [(L)MIII]+ produces a substrate radical cation (S.+), accompanied by the regeneration of [(L)MII]. S.+ then reacts with H2O to produce an OH adduct radical that is oxidized by [(L)MIII]+ to yield an oxygenated product (SO), in which the oxygen atom originates from H2O, accompanied by regeneration of [(L)MII]. Photocatalytic oxidation of H2O by O2 to produce H2O2 is combined with the catalytic oxygenation of substrates with H2O2 to produce the oxygenated products, in which the oxygen atom originates from O2 at the beginning but later from water. This Minireview provides a promising strategy for oxygenation of substrates by using H2O as an oxygen source and O2 as the greenest oxidant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3931-3940
Number of pages10
Issue number17
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2019


  • electron transfer
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • oxidation
  • photocatalysis
  • photosystem II


Dive into the research topics of 'Photocatalytic Oxygenation Reactions Using Water and Dioxygen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this