Double Layer of a Gold Electrode Probed by AFM Force Measurements

D. Barten, J.M. Kleijn, J.F.L. Duval, H.P. van Leeuwen, J. Lyklema, M.A. Cohen Stuart

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    64 Citations (Scopus)


    Colloidal probe atomic force microscopy was used to determine the electric double layer interactions between a gold electrode and a spherical silica probe. The double layer properties of the gold/solution interface were varied through the pH and salt concentration of the electrolyte, as well as by externally applying an electric potential. The double layer potentials d of the gold surface were obtained by fitting the force-distance curves according to the DLVO (Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek) theory, using earlier obtained values for the double layer potential of the silica probe as input parameter. It was found that the gold electrode combines the features of reversible and polarizable interfaces; i.e., its charge and potential are determined by both the solution pH and the external potential. The pH dependence is attributed to proton adsorption and desorption from oxidic groups on the gold surface. In the potential range studied, d varies linearly with the applied potential; the variation in d is roughly 10% of that in the applied potential. The potential of zero force (the external potential at which d = 0) varies with pH. The various features of the gold/electrolyte interface are described well by an amphifunctional double layer model. The results of this study form the basis of the interpretation of adsorption studies on gold as a function of pH and externally applied potential
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1133-1139
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • aqueous-solution
    • surface-charge
    • interface
    • adsorption
    • proteins
    • microscope
    • acid

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