The Swiss Army Knife of Electrodes: Pillar[6]arene-Modified Electrodes for Molecular Electrocatalysis Over a Wide pH Range

28 May 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Molecularly-modified electrode materials that maintain stability over a broad pH range are rare. Typically, each electrochemical transformation necessitates a specifically tuned system to achieve strong binding and high activity of the catalyst. Here, we report the functionalisation of mesoporous indium tin oxide (mITO) electrodes with the macrocyclic host molecule pillar[6]arene (PA[6]). These electrodes are stable within the pH range of 2.4–10.8 and can be equipped with electrochemically active ruthenium complexes through host-guest interactions to perform various oxidation reactions. Benzyl alcohol oxidation serves as a model reaction in acidic media, while ammonia oxidation is conducted to assess the systems performance under basic conditions. PA[6]-modified electrodes demonstrate catalytic activity for both reactions when complexed to different guest molecules and can be reused by reabsorption of the catalyst after its degradation. Furthermore, the system can be employed to perform subsequent reactions in electrolyte with varying pH, enabling the same electrode to be utilised in multiple different electrocatalytic reactions.


Host-Guest Chemistry
pH Stability
Immobilized Catalyst


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