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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Apr 23;130(16):5579-85. doi: 10.1021/ja710246n. Epub 2008 Mar 29.

Surface reactivity of the quinone/hydroquinone redox center tethered to gold: comparison of delocalized and saturated bridges.

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Center for Bio-Molecular Science and Engineering, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA.


We found that when a quinone headgroup, present in a mixed self-assembled monolayer on gold, reacts with a nucleophile, dissolved in the bulk phase, the reaction rate widely depends on the chemical nature of the tether, being 7 times faster for quinones attached via a delocalized bridge as compared to a saturated alkane chain. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) of the quinone/hydroquinone redox couple was used to monitor the nucleophilic addition, while simulated CVs compared to experimental runs permitted the determination of rate constants. Analysis of CV data also suggests that the delocalized oligo(phenylene ethynylene) bridge facilitates the addition of two mercaptoethanol molecules as compared to the alkane bridge, where only one molecule is being added. The use of delocalized bridges for tethering quinones to electrodes is of great potential in electrochemically controlled "tuning" of surfaces needed in biosensor applications.

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