What is Spectroelectrochemistry?

Electrochemists use applied electrical potentials and currents to control and study chemical processes on or near electrodes. Spectroscopy is the gather of information about the structure of matter by studying how it interacts with light. Spectroelectrochemistry uses spectroscopic tools to tease out details of electrochemical processes.

Infrared spectroelectrochemistry is a non-destructive technique which is highly sensitive to molecular structure.

ATR-SEIRAS enhances surface signals

ATR-SEIRAS stands for attenuated total reflectance surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy. It is a surface-sensitive technique similar to surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

ATR-SEIRAS uses a silicon prism with one surface coated with a thin (~ 30 nm) gold film. Infrared light passes through the prism and is totally internally reflected at the Au/air interface. At the interface, the evanescent wave excites surface plasmon polaritons at the Au/air interface.

The increased  electric field is confined to the interface, so absorption probabilities of surface molecules increase by an order of magnitude or more!

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