Operando Methods for the Mechanistic Elucidation of an Electrochemically Driven Structural Transformation

Research paper by E. Martínez-Periñán, M. Revenga-Parra, J. Pastore, F. Pariente, F. Zamora, O. Castillo, E. Lorenzo, H. D. Abruña

Indexed on: 01 Jun '18Published on: 21 May '18Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry C


We present the use of operando methods for the mechanistic dilucidation of an electrochemically driven structural transformation of a Ni(II) thioacetate complex. Specifically, we employed operando Raman spectroscopy and electrochemistry, along with X-ray diffraction to characterize the electrochemically induced conversion of a paddle-wheel tetrakis–acetate dinickel(II) complex into the related dinickel acetate. Successive Raman spectra were obtained from the surface of a gold electrode immersed in an electrochemical cell containing the dinuclear complex [Ni2(CH3COS)4·EtOH] under a constant applied potential, to oxidize the complex, and effects its conversion/transformation into the unprecedented [Ni(CH3COO)2]n electrodeposited onto the electrode surface as microstructures. The crystal structure of the new electrogenerated compound [Ni(CH3COO)2]n was also examined by synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The observation of a disulfide species, generated during the electrochemical process via Raman spectroscopy was consistent with and served to confirm the proposed mechanism. These approaches can be readily applied to numerous electrode potential-induced transformations.

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