Volume 22, Issue 17 p. 5976-5981
Full Paper

Nanoparticle Capping Agent Controlled Electron-Transfer Dynamics in Ionic Liquids

Eden E. L. Tanner

Eden E. L. Tanner

University of Oxford, Department of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QZ UK

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Dr. Christopher Batchelor-McAuley

Corresponding Author

Dr. Christopher Batchelor-McAuley

University of Oxford, Department of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QZ UK

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Prof. Dr. Richard G. Compton

Corresponding Author

Prof. Dr. Richard G. Compton

University of Oxford, Department of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QZ UK

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First published: 21 March 2016
Citations: 4

Graphical Abstract

Go nano! A change in the mechanism of the oxidation of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) with the molecular weight of a poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) capping agent is reported. Electrochemical analyses reveal that the oxidation of 6000 molecular weight (MW; see figure) PEG is consistent with a polymer-gated mechanism, whilst for 2000 MW PEG the polymer does not hinder the oxidation.

Abstract

Herein, we report a change in the mechanism of the oxidation of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) with the molecular weight of a poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) capping agent. Characterisation of the modified nanoparticles is undertaken using dynamic light scattering and UV/Vis spectroscopy. Electrochemical analyses reveal that the oxidation of 6000 molecular weight (MW) PEG is consistent with a polymer-gated mechanism, whilst for 2000 MW PEG the polymer does not hinder the oxidation. The 10,000 MW PEG Ag NPs are rendered almost electrochemically inactive. This study demonstrates the ability to alter and better understand the electron-transfer mechanism in a room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) by systematically altering the capping agent.