Walljet Electrochemistry: Quantifying Molecular Transport through Metallopolymeric and Zirconium Phosphonate Assembled Porphyrin Square Thin Films
2004-05-25T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
By employing redox-active probes, condensed-phase molecular transport through nanoporous thin films can often be measured electrochemically. Certain kinds of electrode materials (e.g. conductive glass) are difficult to fabricate as rotatable disks or as ultramicroelectrodesthe configurations most often used for electrochemical permeation measurements. These limitations point to the need for a more materials-general measurement method. Herein, we report the application of walljet electrochemistry to the study of molecular transport through model metallopolymeric films on indium tin oxide electrodes. A quantitative expression is presented that describes the transport-limited current at the walljet electrode in terms of mass transport through solution and permeation through the film phase. A comparison of the film permeabilities for a series of redox probes measured using the walljet electrode and a rotating disk electrode establishes the accuracy of the walljet method, while also demonstrating similar precision for the two methods. We apply this technique to a system consisting of zirconium phosphonate assembled films of a porphyrinic molecular square. Transport through films comprising three or more layers is free from significant contributions from pinhole defects. Surprisingly, transport through films of this kind is 2−3 orders of magnitude slower than through films constructed via interfacial polymerization of nearly identical supramolecular square building blocks (Keefe; et al. <i>Adv. Mater.</i> <b>2003</b>, <i>15</i>, 1936). The zirconium phosphate assembled films show good size exclusion behavior. The details of the observed dependence of permeation rates on probe molecule size can be rationalized with a model that assumes that the walls of the squares are slightly tilted from a strictly vertical geometry, consistent with atomic force microscopy measurements, and assumes that the individual wall geometries are locked by rigid interlayer linkages.