Spectroelectrochemical determination of thiolate self-assembled monolayer adsorptive stability in aqueous and non-aqueous electrolytes

Abdur-Rahman Siddiqui, Jeanne N'Diaye, Armando Santiago-Carboney, Kristin Martin, Rohit Bhargava, Joaquín Rodríguez-López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-assembled monolayers (SAM) are ubiquitous in studies of modified electrodes for sensing, electrocatalysis, and environmental and energy applications. However, determining their adsorptive stability is crucial to ensure robust experiments. In this work, the stable potential window (SPW) in which a SAM-covered electrode can function without inducing SAM desorption was determined for aromatic SAMs on gold electrodes in aqueous and non-aqueous solvents. The SPWs were determined by employing cyclic voltammetry, attenuated total reflectance surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (ATR-SEIRAS), and surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The electrochemical and spectroscopic findings concluded that all the aromatic SAMs used displayed similar trends and SPWs. In aqueous systems, the SPW lies between the reductive desorption and oxidative desorption, with pH being the decisive factor affecting the range of the SPW, with the widest SPW observed at pH 1. In the non-aqueous electrolytes, the desorption of SAMs was observed to be slow and progressive. The polarity of the solvent was the main factor in determining the SPW. The lower the polarity of the solvent, the larger the SPW, with 1-butanol displaying the widest SPW. This work showcases the power of spectroelectrochemical analysis and provides ample future directions for the use of non-polar solvents to increase SAM stability in electrochemical applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2842-2854
Number of pages13
Issue number10
Early online dateApr 2 2024
StatePublished - Apr 2 2024


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