CuII-Mediated Ultra-efficient Electrooxidation of Glucose

Weiran Zheng, Yong Li, Chui Shan Tsang, Liangsheng Hu, Mengjie Liu, Bolong Huang, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee*, Kwok Yin Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Electrooxidation of glucose represents an economic conversion of biomass and has gained global interest for applications in fuel cells and sensors. Herein, we report a new, simple, and highly efficient method of glucose electrooxidation without involving any sophisticated electrode modification with biocatalysts or nanostructures. Micromolar-level Cu ions are added to coordinate with glucose in alkaline electrolyte. The coordinated glucose is oxidized by electrochemically generated CuIII with excellent conversion efficiency (TOF=18.7 s−1) and ultra-high sensitivity (1,814 mA M−1 cm−2) under mild conditions. Both experimental and theoretical investigations show that the CuII-glucose plays a critical role in such high efficiency, which significantly reduces the oxidation potential and avoids catalyst poisoning. Our electrocatalytic system delivers remarkable atomic efficiency with high stability, thus offering great potential for applications in fuel cell and sensor design at low cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2788-2792
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • copper-glucose coordination
  • electrocatalyst
  • glucose oxidation
  • homogeneous catalysis


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