POLYMER-MEDIATED ELECTROCHEMISTRY IN SOL-GEL THIN FILMS AND SPECTROELECTROCHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF MOLECULAR ADLAYERS ON INDIUM-TIN OXIDE ELECTRODE SURFACES
AuthorDoherty, Walter John
AdvisorSaavedra, S. Scott
Armstrong, Neal R.
Committee ChairSaavedra, S. Scott
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis research focuses on the development of spectroelectrochemical sensor formats based on thin film molecular architectures and electrochemical detection of sol-gel encapsulated macromolecular recognition elements. To achieve this goal, there were two major objectives: 1) to demonstrate and characterize conductive polymer grown electrochemically in porous sol-gel thin films with specific regard to the ability of the polymer to mediate charge transfer between sol-gel encapsulated molecules and the electrode surface, and 2) to develop a means to probe the spectroscopic properties of highly absorbent thin films as a function of applied potential. Toward the first objective, diffusion of a derivatized thiophene monomer into a sol-gel thin film and subsequent electropolymerization at an underlying indium-tin oxide (ITO) surface was found to produce a conductive network of polymer capable of mediating electron transfer from encapsulated redox centers in the bulk of the sol-gel film to the electrode surface. At high levels of polymer loading, emergent, sol-gel templated, polymeric structures are formed which extend from the sol-gel surface into the electrolyte solution and exhibit electrochemical properties of ultramicroelectrode arrays. To achieve the second objective, a polychromatic, electroactive attenuated total internal reflectance (EA-ATR) instrument was developed consisting of an indium-tin oxide (ITO) coated glass internal reflection element (IRE). In addition to a high degree of surface sensitivity relative to transmission geometries, this geometry affords acquisition of absorption anisotropy information, via polarization of the incident beam, to determine the orientation distribution in molecular adlayers. To demonstrate these abilities, the orientational distribution of monolayer and bilayer films of perylene and copper phthalocyanine derivatives, respectively, was determined. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the EA-ATR could be used in a potential-modulated mode (PM-ATR) to study the kinetics of electro-optical switching in conductive copolymer thin films.