Grafting of electrodes with diazonium salts using cyclic voltammetry (CV) is a well-established procedure for surface modification. However, little is known about the effect of the concentration of the diazonium salt on the number of layers grafted on the electrode surface. In this work, the impact of concentration on the grafting of 4-carboxybenzenediazonium (4-CBD) onto a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) is elucidated. The number of layers grafted on the GCE was linearly dependent on the concentration of 4-CBD and varied between 0.9 and 4.3 when the concentration was varied between 0.050 and 0.30 mmol/L at 0.10 V.s-1. Characterization of modified glassy carbon surface with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed the grafting of carboxyphenyl layer on the surface. Grafting with 0.15 mmol/L 4-CBD (1 CV cycle) did not form a detectable amount of carboxyphenyl (CP) moieties at the surface, while a single scan with higher concentration (2.5 mmol/L) or multiple scans (22 cycles) gave detectable signals, indicating formation of multilayers. We also demonstrate the possibility of removing the thin layer grafted on a glassy carbon electrode by applying high oxidation potential +1.40 V.
Keywords: 4-carboxybenzenediazonium tetrafluoroborate; cyclic voltammetry; glassy carbon; grafting; thin films.