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In Situ Raman Spectroelectrochemistry Of Electron Transfer Between Glassy Carbon And A Chemisorbed Nitroazobenzene Monolayer.

T. Itoh, R. McCreery
Published 2002 · Chemistry, Medicine

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In situ Raman spectroscopy was used to monitor 4-nitroazobenzene (NAB) in an electrochemical cell, both as a free molecule and as a chemisorbed monolayer on a glassy carbon (GC) electrode surface. Reduction of free NAB exhibited two well-defined voltammetric couples in acetonitrile, and the accompanying spectral changes supported a mechanism involving two successive 1-e(-) transfers. Raman spectra of NAB chemisorbed to GC via diazonium ion reduction were obtained in acetonitrile with a high-sensitivity, line-focused CCD spectrometer. The chemisorbed NAB spectra were quite different from the free NAB spectra, and were sufficiently strong to monitor as a function of applied potential. In the potential range of +400 to -800 mV vs Ag/Ag(+), the intensity of the Raman bands associated with the phenyl-NO(2) moiety varied, implying an electronic interaction between the pi system of the graphitic substrate and the chemisorbed NAB molecules. Negative of -800 mV, a 1-e(-) voltammetric reduction peak was observed, which was reversible on the positive voltage scan. This peak was accompanied by significant spectral changes, particularly the loss of the N=N and NO(2) stretches. The spectra are consistent with formation of a quinoid structure containing a C=C double bond between the NAB and the graphitic surface. The electron transfer and spectral changes occurred over a wider potential range than expected for a conventional Nernstian equilibrium, but did not appear to be broadened by slow electron-transfer kinetics. The results imply a significant perturbation of electron transfer between the GC and the monolayer, caused by strong electronic coupling between the graphitic pi system and the NAB orbitals. Rather than a discrete electron transfer to a free molecule, the electron transfer to chemisorbed NAB is more gradual, and is presumably driven by the electric field at the electrode/solution interface.

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