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Single-Layer Graphene as a Stable and Transparent Electrode for Nonaqueous Radical Annihilation Electrogenerated Chemiluminescence

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journal contribution
posted on 07.04.2015, 00:00 by Teresa C. Cristarella, Adam J. Chinderle, Jingshu Hui, Joaquín Rodríguez-López
We explored the use of single-layer graphene (SLG) obtained by chemical vapor deposition, and transferred to a glass substrate, as a transparent electrode material for use in coupled electrochemical and spectroscopic experiments in nonaqueous media through electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL). SLG was used with classical ECL luminophores, rubrene and 9,10-diphenylanthracene, in an inert environment to generate stable electrochemical responses and measure light emission through it. As an electrode material, SLG displayed excellent stability during electrochemical potential stepping and voltammetry in a window that spanned at least from ca. −2.4 to +1.8 V versus SCE in acetonitrile and acetonitrile/benzene. Although the peak splitting between forward and reverse sweeps in voltammetry was larger in comparison to metal electrodes due to in-plane resistance, SLG displayed sufficiently facile electron transfer properties to yield stable voltammetric cycling and ECL. SLG electrodes patterned with poly tetrafluoroethylene permitted the stable generation of radical ions on an SLG microelectrode to be studied through scanning electrochemical microscopy in the generation/collection mode. SLG was able to stably collect radical ions produced by a 50 μm gold tip with up to 96% collection efficiency. The transparency of graphene was used to obtain accurate spectral responses in ECL. While inner filter effects are known to cause a shift in peak emission wavelength of spectroelectrochemical studies, the use of SLG electrodes with detection through the graphene window reduced apparent peak shifts by up to 10 nm in peak wavelength. This work introduces SLG as a virtually transparent, electrochemically active, and chemically stable platform for studying ECL in the radical annihilation mode, where large electrode polarizations could compromise the chemical stability of other existing transparent electrodes.

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