Energetics of electron transfer at the nanocrystalline titanium dioxide semiconductor/aqueous solution interface: pH invariance of the metal-based formal potential of a representative surface-attached dye couple

Susan G. Yan, Joseph T. Hupp

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Mediator-based spectroelectrochemical assessment of the metal-centered formal potential (EfRu) of a representative inorganic dye, Ru(4,4′-(CH2PO3)-2,2′-bipyridine)310-, bound to a nanocrystalline titanium dioxide film shows that the potential is insensitive to changes in solution pH, despite significant shifts in the conduction band edge energy (ECB) of the underlying semiconductor electrode in response to the same environmental perturbations. The observations are important in the context of recent work showing that back-electron reactivity for the same semiconductor/dye combination is pH independent over a 19 pH unit range, despite apparent changes in back-reaction driving force of greater than 1.2 eV over the same interval (Yan, S.; Hupp, J. T. J. Phys. Chem. 1996, 100, 6867). In particular, the spectroelectrochemical findings serve to rule out a suggested alternative interpretation of the unusual kinetic effects whereby the crucial energy difference quantity, ECB - EfRu, remains fixed because of compensating changes in the dye potential with pH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1495
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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