Observation of Discrete Au Nanoparticle Collisions by Electrocatalytic Amplification Using Pt Ultramicroelectrode Surface Modification

After growing a thin layer of oxide (PtOx) by anodization of a Pt electrode, it changed from catalytically active for electrochemical NaBH4 oxidation into an inactive electrode. When held at a potential where the oxide film was maintained, collisions of individual 14 nm diameter Au nanoparticles (NPs) that catalyzed NaBH4 oxidation were successfully observed as discrete current pulses (spikes or blips) for each NP interaction with the modified Pt electrode via amplification from NaBH4 oxidation. The current response is affected by NP concentration and the applied potential.