Molecular Bio-inspired Strategies for the Design of Electrocatalytic Systems

Werner Prize 2023


  • Victor Mougel Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry, ETH Zürich, Vladimir Prelog Weg. 1-5, CH-8093 Zürich





Bio-inspired chemistry, Catalysis, CO2 reduction, Coordination chemistry, Electrochemistry


This perspective article delves into the realm of bio-inspired catalysis, highlighting the valuable insights gleaned from enzymatic systems for the design of advanced electrocatalysts. We focus here on three key aspects to mimic: the structure of enzymatic active sites, the essential functions to enable catalytic activity as well as key elementary steps of reaction mechanisms employed by enzymes to ensure maximum efficiency and selectivity. Our research group's contributions to these areas are highlighted, including the synthesis and catalytic activity of cobalt(III) pyridinethiolate complexes, the exploration of bimetallic sites mimicking biological carbon dioxide reductases and of all-ferrous Fe4S4 clusters as mimics of FeP active sites, and the integration of concerted proton-electron transfer (CPET) mediators for the generation of metal hydride species. We emphasize the potential of these bio-inspired approaches in advancing electrocatalyst design and their relevance to molecular catalysis.

Funding data




How to Cite

V. Mougel, Chimia 2023, 77, 478, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2023.478.