Title page for ETD etd-06042010-013120

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Nkosi, Duduzile
Email duduzile.nkosi@up.ac.za
URN etd-06042010-013120
Document Title Electrochemical and electrocatalytic properties of self-assembled single-walled carbon nanotube/organo-iron hybrid systems on gold electrodes
Degree PhD
Department Chemistry
Advisor Name Title
Dr K I Ozoemena Supervisor
  • electrocatalytic properties
  • electrochemical properties
  • gold electrodes
Date 2010-04-16
Availability unrestricted
This work describes, for the first time, the electrochemical and electrocatalytic properties of self-assembled layers of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) intergrated with selected organo-iron complexes and Cysteamine (Cys) forming a base on gold electrodes. The organo-iron complexes selected for this study were octa(hydroxyethylthio)phthalocyaninatoiron(II) (FeOHETPc), tetraaminophthalocyninatoiron(II) (FeTAPc), tetraaminophthalocyninatocobalt(II) (CoTAPc), ferrocene monocarboxylic acid (FMCA), ferrocene dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) or a mixture of SWCNT and FMCA or FDCA. The successful fabrication of these electrodes were established using atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), square wave voltammetry (SWV) and chronoamperometry (CA)

The Au-Cys-SWCNT-FeOHETPc electrode exhibited strong dependence on the reaction of the head groups and the pH of the working electrolytes. The high electron transfer capability of the Au-Cys-SWCNT-FeOHETPc electrode over other electrodes as the Au-Cys-SWCNT or the Au-Cys-FeOHETPc or the Au-FeOHETPc suggests that SWCNT greatly improves the electronic communication between FeOHETPc and the bare gold electrode. The electron transfer rate constant (kapp) of Au-Cys-SWCNT-FeOHETPc in pH 4.8 conditions (~1.7 x 10-2 cm s-1) over that of the electrode obtained from SWCNT integrated with tetraaminophthalocyninatocobalt(II) (Au-Cys-SWCNT-CoTAPc) (5.1 x 10-3 cm s-1) is attributed to the possible effect of both the central metal on the phthalocyanine core and subsituents on the peripheral positions of the phthalocyanine rings.

This work clearly proved that the aligned SWCNTs arrays exhibit much faster electron transfer kinetics to redox-active species in solutions compared to the randomly dispersed (drop-dried) SWCNTs. The advantageous electron transfer properties of the aligned Au-Cys-SWCNT-FeOHETPc electrode, coupled with its ease of fabrication and electrochemical stability, could be found useful in electrochemical sensing and catalysis.

Thiocyanate ion was used as an analytical probe to examine the electrocatalytic properties of these modified gold electrodes. This work shows that SWCNT-FeOHETPc hybrid exhibits excellent sensitivity towards the detection of thiocyanate compared to electrodes containing SWCNT or FeTAPc or FeOHETPc only, indicating the ability of the SWCNTs to function as effective conductive nanowires for the detection of this important analyte. The electrochemical response of the FeOHETPc based electrodes was greater than their FeTAPc-based electrode counterparts, indicative of the impact of peripheral substituents on the phthalocyanine core towards electrocatalytic behaviour of these types of hybrids. Nevertheless, the exchange of the central metal as seen with the case of CoTAPc (see chapter 3), provide useful comparative electrochemical activity of this complexes versus FeTAPc with the same chemical environment with an indication of iron being the best as metal centre.

FMCA or FDCA were covalently attached to the base Cysteamine monolayer to form the Au-Cys-FMCA and Au-Cys-FDCA, respectively. The same covalent attachment strategy was used to form the mixed SWCNTs and ferrocene-terminated layers (i.e., Au-Cys-SWCNT/FMCA and Au-Cys-SWCNT/FDCA). The impact of neighbouring SWCNTs on the electron transfer dynamics of the ferrocene molecular assemblies in acidic medium (0.5 M H2SO4) and in a solution (pH 7.2) of an outer-sphere redox probe ([Fe(CN)6]4-/ [Fe(CN) 6]3-) was explored. The electron transfer rate constants in both solution media essentially decrease as Au-Cys-FMCA > Au-Cys-SWCNT/FDCA > Au-Cys-FDCA > Au-Cys-SWCNT/FMCA. This trend has been interpreted in terms of several factors such as the locations of the ferrocene species in a range of environments with a range of potentials, the proximity /interactions of the ferrocenes with one another, and electrostatic interaction or repulsion existing between the negatively-charged redox probe and the modified electrodes.

Square wave voltammetry was used to examine the catalytic behaviour of the electrodes. Au-Cys-SWCNT/FDCA proved to be the best electrode, possibly due to the repulsive interactions between the negatively charged SCN- and high number of surface –COOH species at the SWCNT/FDCA. This novel study has provided some useful insights as to how CNTs co-assembled with ferrocene-terminated thiols could impact on the heterogeneous electron transfer kinetics as well as the electrocatalytic detection of the self-assembled ferrocene layers.

© 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Nkosi, D 2009, Electrochemical and electrocatalytic properties of self-assembled single-walled carbon nanotube/organo-iron hybrid systems on gold electrodes, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06042010-013120/ >


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