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Determination of pKa of benzoic acid- and p-aminobenzoic acid-modified platinum surfaces by electrochemical and contact angle measurements

Secil Tekin-Celebi, Ali Osman Solak, Zafer Ustundag, and Serkan Demirci

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Ankara University, 06100 Ankarara, Turkey



Abstract: Acidity constant values of benzoic acid (BA)-modified platinum electrode (Pt-BA) and p-aminobenzoic acid (pABA)-modified platinum electrode (Pt-NHBA) surfaces were determined using cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and contact angle measurements (CAM). Diazonium tetrafluoroborate salt reduction and pABA oxidation reactions were used to prepare (Pt-BA) and (Pt-NHBA) surfaces, respectively. Both surfaces exhibited pH dependence with [Fe(CN)6]3−/4− redox probe solutions at different pH; this allowed us to estimate the surface pK a values. Acidity constants for Pt-BA surface were found to be pK a (3.09 ± 0.25), (4.89 ± 0.11), and (3.91 ± 0.54) by CV, EIS, and CAM techniques, respectively, while the values for Pt-NHBA surface were pK a (3.16 ± 0.45), (4.24 ± 0.40), and (5.64 ± 0.12). The Pt-BA surface pK a values were lower in CV and CAM measurements relative to the bulk solution of BA, while a higher value was observed in EIS for Pt-BA surface. The pK a values determined for Pt-NHBA surface via both CV and EIS were lower than the bulk value; however, the result obtained from CAM was one unit higher than pK a of bulk pABA.

Keywords: platinum electrode – p-aminobenzoic acid – cyclic voltammetry – electrochemical impedance spectroscopy – determination of pKa – contact angle

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0237-0


Chemical Papers 66 (12) 1146–1156 (2012)

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