Electrochemical NO Generation: Past, Present, and Future
Generation of NO is crucial for many biological applications due to the antiseptic and antithrombotic properties of NO, as well as its role as a signaling molecule. Much work has been devoted to developing various methods of generating NO on demand. Recently, temporal control and fine-tunability have become highly sought after in NO generation, wherein electrochemistry has emerged as a suitable approach. Herein, we give an overview of the progress towards developing electrochemical generation of NO thus far and offer an outlook for the future of the field. Since much of electrochemical NO generation involves the use of either organometallic catalysts or catalysts inspired by enzymes, addressing challenges and limitations in electrochemical NO generation warrant collaboration between electrochemistry, organometallics, materials, and biochemistry. While the combination of electrochemistry with organometallics currently uses Cu and Fe-based catalysts, there is inspiration to discover other transition metal-based catalysts. Additionally, the combination of electrochemistry with advanced materials could result in the use of nanostructured electrodes such as nanowires and nanorods. These combinations with biochemistry allows for on demand NO generation systems to be developed in a biocompatible manner. In particular, the above propositions are taken from the well-studied CO2 reduction to CO, due to the similarities with nitrite (NO2–) reduction, which is a common NO precursor.