Enhanced electrochemiluminescence from Os(phen)₂(dppene)²⁺(phen = 1,10-phenanthroline and dppene = bis(diphenylphosphino)ethene) in the presence of Triton X-100 (polyethylene glycol tert-octylphenyl ether)

Date of Graduation

Summer 2003


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Mark Richter


The effects of nonionic surfactant Triton X-100 (polyethylene glycol tertoctylphenyl ether) on the properties of Os(phen)₂(dppene)²⁺ (phen = 1,10-phenanthroline and dppene = bis(diphenylphosphino)ethene) electrochemiluminescence (ECL) have been investigated. The anodic oxidation of Os(phen)₂(dppene)²⁺ produces ECL in the presence of tri-n-propylamine (TPrA) in aqueous surfactant solution. Increases in ECL efficiency (>̲ 3-fold) and TPrA oxidation current (>̲ 2.0-fold) have been observed in surfactant media. The results support adsorption of surfactant on the electrode surface. The adsorption of the surfactant species renders the electrode more hydrophobic and facilitates TPrA and Os(phen)₂(dppene)²⁺ oxidation, leading to higher ECL intensities. This work shows that the surfactant effect on ECL is a general phenomenon for metal-ligand complexes. Also, the ECL emission efficiency of Os(phen)₂(dppene)²⁺ is significantly greater than Ru(bpy)₃²⁺ (a widely used luminophore) in aqueous and aqueous surfactant solutions. This could potentially be very useful in environmental or diagnostic situations where greater sensitivity and detection limits are needed.

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