American Chemical Society
ac3c04668_si_001.pdf (1.57 MB)

Controlling the Collision Type and Frequency of Single Pt Nanoparticles at Chemically Modified Gold Electrodes

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-12, 14:33 authored by Audrey Pumford, Ryan J. White
Studying the electrochemical response of single nanoparticles at an electrode surface gives insight into the dynamic and stochastic processes that occur at the electrode interface. Herein, we investigated single platinum nanoparticle collision dynamics and type (elastic vs inelastic) at gold electrode surfaces modified with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of varying terminal chemistries. Collision events are measured via the faradaic current from catalytic reactions at the Pt surface. By changing the terminal, solution-facing group of a thiolate monolayer, we observed the effect of hydrophobicity at the solution–electrode interface on single-particle collisions by employing either a hydrophobic −CH3 terminal group (1-hexanethiol), a hydrophilic −OH terminal group (6-mercaptohexanol), or an equimolar mixture of the two. Changes in the terminal group lead to alterations in collision-induced current magnitude, collisional frequency, and the distinct shape of the collision event current transient. The effects of the terminal group of the SAM were probed by measuring quantitative differences in the events monitored through both the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and hydrazine oxidation. In both cases, a platinum nanoparticle (PtNP) favors adsorption to bare and hydrophilic surfaces but demonstrates elastic collision behavior when it collides with a hydrophobic surface. In the case of a mixed monolayer, distinct characteristics of hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces are observed. We report how single nanoparticle collisions can reveal nanoscale surface heterogeneity and can be used to manipulate the nature of single-particle interactions on an electrode surface by functionalized self-assembled monolayers.