Voltammetric studies of microcrystalline C60 adhered to a carbon electrode surface and placed in contact with aqueous electrolyte containing potassium ions

W. T. Tan, E. B. Lim, J. K. Goh

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The reduction of macrocrystalline C60fullerene, adhered at a carbon electrode and immersed in aqueous electrolyte, has been studied under various voltammetric conditions. This work reports mainly the voltammetric studies carried out principally in electrolyte containing potassium ions. Comparison of adherence techniques, such as solvent casting and mechanical transfer methods, are made to assess if the type of adhered techniques has any significant influence on the observed electrochemistry. The solvent casting method is found to produce three peaks in the potential for C60 0/n- redox couple as compared to a single and large peak produced when a mechanical transfer technique is employed. When the reduction potential of microcrystalline C60 in the presence of K+ is compared with other cations, such as Li, Na, Rb and Cs, it is observed that the shift of reduction potential follows the change in the hydration energy in the order Cs > Rb > K > Na > Li. In a mixed electrolyte study of CsCl/KCl, the reduction potential and peak shape of C600/n- redox couple during cyclic voltammetry is observed to change with concentration of the cations and the observed electrochemistry can be attributed to a cation-exchange mechanism. The reduction of C60 is irreversible in aqueous electrolyte containing alkaline cations as the re-oxidation process does not produce any observed electro-activity. Evidence of the formation of a passive coating of KnC60 fullende, which does not appear to undergo dissolution is obtained under cyclic voltametric conditions. This coating remains electrochemically active in the presence of tetrabutylammonium ions in acetonitrile. Scan rate, chronocoulometric, and scanning electron microscopic studies provide evidence of the presence of a surface process involving solid-solid transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-42
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Solid State Electrochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqueous solution
  • C
  • Mechanical transfer
  • Solvent casting
  • Voltammetry

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