Monitoring SEIRAS on a Graphitic Electrode for Surface-Sensitive Electrochemistry: Real-Time Electrografting

Abdur Rahman Siddiqui, Jeanne N’Diaye, Kristin Martin, Aravind Baby, Jahan Dawlaty, Veronica Augustyn, Joaquín Rodríguez-López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ubiquity of graphitic materials in electrochemistry makes it highly desirable to probe their interfacial behavior under electrochemical control. Probing the dynamics of molecules at the electrode/electrolyte interface is possible through spectroelectrochemical approaches involving surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRAS). Usually, this technique can only be done on plasmonic metals such as gold or carbon nanoribbons, but a more convenient substrate for carbon electrochemical studies is needed. Here, we expanded the scope of SEIRAS by introducing a robust hybrid graphene-on-gold substrate, where we monitored electrografting processes occurring at the graphene/electrolyte interface. These electrodes consist of graphene deposited onto a roughened gold-sputtered internal reflection element (IRE) for attenuated total reflectance (ATR) SEIRAS. The capabilities of the graphene-gold IRE were demonstrated by successfully monitoring the electrografting of 4-amino-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-piperidine N-oxyl (4-amino-TEMPO) and 4-nitrobenzene diazonium (4-NBD) in real time. These grafts were characterized using cyclic voltammetry and ATR-SEIRAS, clearly showing the 1520 and 1350 cm-1 NO2 stretches for 4-NBD and the 1240 cm-1 C-C, C-C-H, and N-Ȯ stretch for 4-amino-TEMPO. Successful grafts on graphene did not show the SEIRAS effect, while grafting on gold was not stable for TEMPO and had poorer resolution than on graphene-gold for 4-NBD, highlighting the uniqueness of our approach. The graphene-gold IRE is proficient at resolving the spectral responses of redox transformations, unambiguously demonstrating the real-time detection of surface processes on a graphitic electrode. This work provides ample future directions for real-time spectroelectrochemical investigations of carbon electrodes used for sensing, energy storage, electrocatalysis, and environmental applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2435-2444
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 13 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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