Preparation of monolayer tethers via reduction of aryldiazonium salts.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis describes the preparation of surface-attached monolayer tethers from electroreduction of aryldiazonium ions using a protection-deprotection strategy. Monolayers of ethynylphenyl, carboxyphenyl, aminophenyl and aminomethylphenyl were prepared. Glassy carbon (GC) and pyrolysed photoresist film (PPF) surfaces were modified electrochemically and characterised by redox probe voltammetry. The monolayer tethers were coupled with electro-active ferrocenyl (Fc) and nitrophenyl (NP) groups for the indirect electrochemical estimation of the surface concentration. Film thickness measurement was carried out using an atomic force microscopy (AFM) depth profiling technique. The surface concentration and film thickness measurement results were consistent with the formation of monolayer films after removal of the protecting groups.
Preparation of mixed monolayers was studied using three different modification strategies: i) grafting from a solution containing two different protected aryldiazonium ions, ii) sequential grafting of two different protected aryldiazonium ions, and iii) grafting of protected aryldiazonium ions followed by removal of the protecting group and reaction of an amine or carboxylic acid derivative directly with the GC surface. The composition of the mixed layer prepared using the first method is difficult to control, whereas the possibility of multilayer formation cannot be discounted using the second method. Multilayer formation is unlikely using the third method. The electrocatalysis of oxygen reduction at mixed monolayer films was investigated briefly.
The origin of the two reduction peaks frequently observed for electroreduction of aryldiazonium ions at carbon surfaces was studied. Electroreduction was carried out at GC and HOPG surfaces. The reduction peak at the more positive potential is surface sensitive, while the peak at the more negative potential is not. However, both reduction peaks lead to deposition of films and it is tentatively proposed that the more positive peak corresponds to reduction at a ‘clean’ GC electrode, and the more negative peak corresponds to reduction at the already grafted layer.