Modulation of electrochemical hydrogen evolution rate by araliphatic thiol monolayers on gold

TitleModulation of electrochemical hydrogen evolution rate by araliphatic thiol monolayers on gold
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMuglali MI, Erbe A, Chen Y, Barth C, Koelsch P, Rohwerder M
JournalElectrochimica acta
Volume90
Date Published2013/02/15/
ISBN Number0013-4686
Abstract

Electroreductive desorption of a highly ordered self-assembled monolayer (SAM) formed by the araliphatic thiol (4-(4-(4-pyridyl)phenyl)phenyl)methanethiol leads to a concurrent rapid hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The desorption process and resulting interfacial structure were investigated by voltammetric techniques, in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry, and in situ vibrational sum-frequency-generation (SFG) spectroscopy. Voltammetric experiments on SAM-modified electrodes exhibit extraordinarily high peak currents, which di er between Au(111) and polycrystalline Au substrates. Association of reductive desorption with HER is shown to be the origin of the observed excess cathodic charges. The studied SAM preserves its two-dimensional order near Au surface throughout a fast voltammetric scan even when the vertex potential is set several hundred millivolt beyond the desorption potential. A model is developed for the explanation of the observed rapid HER involving ordering and pre-orientation of water present in the nanometer-sized reaction volume between desorbed SAM and the Au electrode, by the structurally extremely stable monolayer, leading to the observed catalysis of the HER.

DOI10.1016/j.electacta.2012.11.116