Electrochemical reduction of europium(iii) using tetra-n-octyl diglycolamide functionalized ordered mesoporous carbon microelectrodes†
This work investigates the one-electron reduction of Eu(III) to Eu(II) with ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC) in cavity microelectrode (CME) systems. OMC materials with and without tetra-n-octyl diglycolamide (TODGA) functionalization were subjected to voltammetric measurements and compared with commercial carbon black Vulcan® XC-72. The electrochemical reduction of solution Eu(III) with unfunctionalized OMC, XC-72, and TODGA-functionalized OMC—both within the electrode matrix and on the electrode surface—is reported. The complexation of Eu(III) by TODGA-functionalized OMC prior to electrode preparation incorporates Eu(III) as part of the bulk electrode matrix. Under these conditions, the high capacitance obscures the Eu(III)/Eu(II) redox couple. A signal emerges above the background (capacitive) currents when 2-octanol is added to the TODGA-functionalized OMC as a wetting agent. In contrast, surface Eu(III)–TODGA complexation, when Eu(III) contacts the electrode surface exclusively after electrode preparation, provides a strong response. The addition of 2-octanol to TODGA reduces the capacitance of the electrode and narrows the Eu(III)/Eu(II) redox peak widths. The desorption by reductive stripping of Eu(II) was demonstrated using a 2-octanol modified TODGA OMC CME, opening the possibility for selective separation of Eu from adjacent trivalent lanthanides.