Electrochemical and surfaced-enhanced Raman spectroscopic investigation of CO and SCN- adsorbed on Au-core-Pt-shell nanoparticles supported on GC electrodes
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Core-shell Au-Pt nanoparticles were synthesized by using a seed growth method and characterized by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and UV-vis spectroscopy. AU(core)-Pt-shell/GC electrodes were prepared by drop-coating the nanoparticles on clean glassy carbon (GC) surfaces, and their electrochemical behavior in 0.5 M H2SO4 revealed that coating of the Au core by the Pt shell is complete. The electrooxidation of carbon monoxide and methanol on the Au-core-Pt-shell/GC was also examined, and the results are similar to those obtained on a bulk Pt electrode. High quality surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra of both adsorbed CO and thiocyanate were observed on the AU(core)-Pt-shell/GC electrodes. The potential-dependent SERS features resemble those obtained on electrochemically roughened bulk Pt or Pt thin films deposited on roughened Au electrodes. For thiocyanate, the C-N stretching frequency increases with the applied potential, yielding two distinctly different d nu(CN)/dE. From -0.8 to -0.2 V, the d nu(CN)/dE is ca. 50 cm(-1)/V, whereas it is 90 cm(-1)/V above 0 V. The bandwidth along with the band intensity increases sharply above 0 V. At the low-frequency region, Pt-NCS stretching mode at 350 cm(-1) was observed at the potentials from -0.8 to 0 V, whereas the Pt-SCN mode at 280 cm(-1) was largely absent until around 0 V and became dominant at more positive potentials. These potential-dependent spectral transitions were attributed to the adsorption orientation switch from N-bound dominant at the negative potential region to S-bound at more positive potentials. The origin of the SERS activity of the particles is briefly discussed. The study demonstrates a new method of obtaining high quality SERS on Pt-group transition metals, with the possibility of tuning SERS activity by varying the core size and the shell thickness.