Author(s): Hadzifejzovic E, Stankovic J, Firth S, McMillan PF, Caruana DJ
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Abstract The manipulation of electron transfer reactions at surfaces forms the cornerstone of electrodeposition and processing of materials on substrates with precise control of stoichiometry and oxidation state. However, the utility of this technique, which is mainly carried out in liquid electrolytes, is ultimately limited by the electrolysis of the solvent which limits a potential window to at best 4.8 V in nonaqueous solutions (A. J. Bard and L. R. Faulkner, Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications, Wiley, New York, NY, 2nd edn, 2001; ref. 1) and can be up to 6 V in ionic liquids (A. P. Abbott, K. J. McKenzie, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2006, 8, 4265-4279; ref. 2). A long-sought-after goal has been to develop a corresponding technique at the solid/gas interface in the absence of a solvent which will allow in principle a potential window in excess of 100 V (J. M. Goodings, J. Guo, A. N. Hayhurst and S. G. Taylor, Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2001, 206, 137-151; ref. 3). This extended potential window will enable chemistry at the solid/gas interface that is not possible at the solid/liquid interface. Here we describe a new approach to gas-phase electrochemistry using a flame plasma as the electrolyte medium. We demonstrate the controlled electrochemical reduction of Cu(+) to Cu(0) at an electrode surface in a flame environment with resulting deposition of either Cu(2)O or Cu species on conducting diamond electrodes. This approach is novel in that it involves the application of an electrochemical potential difference to change the redox state of surface confined species, not the measurement of flame bore ions (as in flame ionisation detectors). This new technique will permit deposition of films and particles on surfaces with control over the oxidation state of the species. This will provide a valuable enhancement to the capabilities of materials preparation methods such as flame spray deposition.
This article was published in Phys Chem Chem Phys
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques