Laser activation voltammetry: Selective removal of reduced forms of methyl viologen deposited on glassy carbon and boron-doped diamond electrodes

Fulian Qiu, Richard G. Compton, Frank Marken, Shelley J. Wilkins, Christiaan H. Goeting, John S. Foord

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The effect of high-intensity laser pulses on the reduction of methyl viologen at glassy carbon electrodes in aqueous solution is investigated using laser activation voltammetry (LAV) under both channel flow and no-flow conditions and compared with the effect of conventional variable-temperature voltammetry. The reduction proceeds in two consecutive one-electron steps, and the neutral two-electron-reduction product of methyl viologen is shown by voltammetry and in situ optical microscopy to form two types of deposits, amorphous and crystalline, on the electrode surface. Laser activation voltammetry using a 10 Hz pulsed Nd-YAG 532 nm laser is shown to remove the deposits from the electrode surface at different laser intensities: the amorphous material is more easily ablated than the crystalline deposit. By conventional variable-temperature voltammetry, it is shown that the two stripping peaks disappear as the temperature is increased. However, with conventional heating, the opposite ease of removal is detected compared to the case of laser activation voltammetry: the stripping response associated with the crystalline material disappears at lower temperatures compared to that for the amorphous material. In the presence of high-intensity laser pulses (> 0.17 W cm-2), glassy carbon surfaces are damaged and the voltammetric characteristics become poor. It is shown that, by the employment of a thin-film boron-doped diamond electrode grown using a chemical vapor deposition procedure on a tungsten substrate, much higher laser intensities can be applied and well-defined LAV signals can be obtained without deactivation of the electrode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2362-2370
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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