In situ FTIR studies of 4-cyanopyridine adsorption at the Au(111)electrode
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In situ electromodulated reflectance Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy has been employed to study the adsorption of 4-cyanopyridine (4-CNPy) at an Au(111) electrode surface. The vibrational spectra have been used to study (i) the dependence of the band intensity on the surface coverage, (ii) the character of surface coordination, and (iii) the stability of adsorbed 4-CNPy molecules. It has been observed that the vibrational bands in the spectra acquired in the electroreflection experiment are significantly broader than the corresponding spectra acquired in a transmission cell. Some weaker bands seen in the spectra recorded in transmission were not observed in the electroreflectance experiment. The electroreflectance spectra were dominated by the two ring deformation bands observed at 1416 cm(-1) and 1554 cm(-1). The intensities of these bands correlated well with the surface concentrations of 4-CNPy molecules determined from independent electrochemical studies. The integrated absorption intensities of the bands recorded in the electroreflection experiments were larger by a factor of five than the absorption intensities measured in the transmission cell. This indicates that the electric field of the photon acting on a molecule, present in front of the gold electrode, is significantly enhanced by reflection from the electrode. The infrared experiments suggest that at positive potentials the 4-CNPy molecules are coordinated to the metal surface through the nitrogen atom of the aromatic ring. The 4-CNPy molecules are oxidized at the Au electrode at potentials higher than 0.6 V (SCE) and are reduced to form (4-CNPy)(-.) ion at potentials lower than -1.1 V (SCE).