Electrocatalytic Efficiency Analysis of Catechol Molecules for NADH Oxidation during Nanoparticle Collision

Electrocatalysis of molecules is a hot research topic in biological and energy-related chemistry. Here, we develop a new system to study the electrocatalytic efficiency of a single catechol molecule for NADH oxidation by single functionalized nanoparticle collision at ultramicroelectrodes (UMEs). The proposed system is composed of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized with catechol molecules and a carbon-fiber ultramicroelectrode. In the absence of NADH, when a functionalized AuNP collides with an UME at a suitable voltage, a small current spike is generated due to the oxidation of catechol molecules modified on the surface of AuNP. In the presence of NADH, the current spike is significantly amplified by the combined effects of the oxidation and electrocatalysis for NADH of catechol molecules. By analyzing the variations of the average peak charges and durations without or with NADH, we calculate that around five thousands NADH molecules could be catalyzed per second by a single catechol molecule, suggesting the successful establishment of this novel catalytic system. Thus, the proposed strategy could be used as a promising platform for research of other molecular electrocatalytic systems.