Single-layer graphene is a newly available conductive material ideally suited for forming well-defined interfaces with electroactive compounds. Aromatic moieties typically interact with the graphene surface to maximize van der Waals interactions, predisposing most compounds to lie flat on its basal plane. Here we describe a tripodal motif that binds multivalently to graphene through three pyrene moieties and projects easily varied functionality away from the surface. The thermodynamic and kinetic binding parameters of a tripod bearing a redox-active Co(II) bis-terpyridyl complex were investigated electrochemically. The complex binds strongly to graphene and forms monolayers with a molecular footprint of 2.3 nm 2 and a ΔG ads = -38.8 ± 0.2 kJ mol -1. Its monolayers are stable in fresh electrolyte for more than 12 h and desorb from graphene 1000 times more slowly than model compounds bearing a single aromatic binding group. Differences in the heterogeneous rate constants of electron transfer between the two compounds suggest that the tripod projects its redox couple away from the graphene surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry