Control of the stability, electron-transfer kinetics, and pH-dependent energetics of Si/H2O interfaces through methyl termination of Si(111) surfaces

Thomas W. Hamann, Nathan S. Lewis

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Methyl-terminated, n-type, (111)-oriented Si surfaces were prepared via a two-step chlorination-alkylation method. This surface modification passivated the Si surface toward electrochemical oxidation and thereby allowed measurements of interfacial electron-transfer processes in contact with aqueous solutions. The resulting semiconductor/liquid junctions exhibited interfacial kinetics behavior in accord with the ideal model of a semiconductor/liquid junction. In contrast to the behavior of H-terminated Si(111) surfaces, current density vs. potential measurements of CH3-terminated Si(111) surfaces in contact with an electron acceptor having a pH-independent redox potential (methyl viologen2+/+) were used to verify that the band edges of the modified Si electrode were fixed with respect to changes in solution pH. The results provide strong evidence that the energetics of chemically modified Si interfaces can be fixed with respect to pH and show that the band-edge energies of Si can be tuned independently of pH-derived variations in the electrochemical potential of the solution redox species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22291-22294
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Nov 16 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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