Electrochemical processes in mesoporous TiO2-Nafion thin films deposited on indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes are inherently complex and affected by capacitance, Ohmic iR-drop, RC-time constant phenomena, and by potential and pH-dependent conductivity. In this study, large-amplitude sinusoidally modulated voltammetry (LASMV) is employed to provide access to almost purely Faradaic-based current data from second harmonic components, as well as capacitance and potential domain information from the fundamental harmonic for mesoporous TiO2-Nafion film electrodes. The LASMV response has been investigated with and without an immobilized one-electron redox system, ferrocenylmethyltrimethylammonium(+). Results clearly demonstrate that the electron transfer associated with the immobilized ferrocene derivative follows two independent pathways i) electron hopping within the Nation network and ii) conduction through the TiO2 backbone. The pH effect on the voltammetric response for the TiO2 reduction pathway (ii) can be clearly identified in the 2(nd) harmonic LASMV response with the diffusion controlled ferrocene response (i) acting as a pH independent reference. Application of second harmonic data derived from LASMV measurement, because of the minimal contribution from capacitance currents, may lead to reference-free pH sensing with systems like that found for ferrocene derivatives.
Milsom, E. V., Bond, A. M., O'Mullane, A. P., Elton, D., Lee, C. Y., & Marken, F. (2009). Probing Second Harmonic Components of pH-Sensitive Redox Processes in a Mesoporous TiO2-Nafion Film Electrode with Fourier-Transformed Large-Amplitude Sinusoidally Modulated Voltammetry. Electroanalysis, 21(1), 41-47. https://doi.org/10.1002/elan.200804391