Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 3, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Surface redox chemistry and mechanochemistry of insulating polystyrene nanospheres

Author affiliations

Abstract

Cyclic voltammetry (CV) of polystyrene nanospheres was carried out after immobilisation onto boron-doped diamond electrodes. Although the polystyrene is insulating, a voltammetric response was obtained. This was attributed to the high surface area of the nanospheres, allowing the redox chemistry of the polystyrene surface to be probed despite the non-conducting nature of the bulk. The polystyrene redox response was found to be strongly dependent on prior mechanical agitation. Centrifuged, sonicated and vortexed polystyrene nanospheres all exhibited significantly higher oxidation currents than the non-agitated polystyrene. Mechanical treatment by sonication and centrifugation was found to bring about changes to surface chemistry of the polystyrene spheres, in particular the introduction of oxygen functionalities. For these samples the CV response is attributed to the presence of surface phenol functionalities. On the non-agitated and vortex treated polystyrene surfaces X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed an absence of oxygen functionalities that could explain the redox response. Repetition of the CV experiment in the presence of a solution spin trap suggests that radical species play a role in the observed response. For the vortexed sample the increased oxidation currents were attributed to significant surface roughening and deformation, as revealed by Transmission Electron Microscopy.

Graphical abstract: Surface redox chemistry and mechanochemistry of insulating polystyrene nanospheres

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 02 Sep 2014, accepted on 26 Nov 2014 and first published on 26 Nov 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP03938F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 1837-1846
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Surface redox chemistry and mechanochemistry of insulating polystyrene nanospheres

    T. S. Varley, M. Rosillo-Lopez, S. Sehmi, N. Hollingsworth and K. B. Holt, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 1837
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CP03938F

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements