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Electrochemical Modification of Indium Tin Oxide Using Di(4-nitrophenyl) Iodonium Tetrafluoroborate

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journal contribution
posted on 20.01.2015, 00:00 by Matthew R. Charlton, Kristin J. Suhr, Bradley J. Holliday, Keith J. Stevenson
Optoelectronic applications often rely on indium tin oxide (ITO) as a transparent electrode material. Improvements in the performance of such devices as photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes often requires robust, controllable modification of the ITO surface to enhance interfacial charge transfer properties. In this work, modifier films were deposited onto ITO by the electrochemical reduction of di­(4-nitrophenyl) iodonium tetrafluoroborate (DNP), allowing for control over surface functionalization. The surface coverage could be tuned from submonolayer to multilayer coverage by either varying the DNP concentration or the number of cyclic voltammetry (CV) grafting scans. Modification of ITO with 0.8 mM DNP resulted in near-monolayer surface coverage (4.95 × 1014 molecules/cm2). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis confirmed the presence of 4-nitrophenyl (NO2Ph) moieties on the ITO surface through the detection of a NO2 nitrogen signal at 405.6 eV after grafting. Further XPS evidence suggests that the NO2Ph radicals do not bond to the surface indium or tin sites, consistent with modification occurring either through bonding to surface hydroxyl groups or through strong physisorption on ITO. CV in the presence of an electroactive probe and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were used to investigate the electronic effects that modification via DNP has on ITO. Even at submonolayer coverage, the insulating organic films can reduce the current response to ferrocene oxidation and reduction by more than 25% and increase the charge transfer resistance by a factor of 10.

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