Electrochemical STM study of the adsorption of adenine on Au(111) electrodes

Cristina Vaz-Dominguez, Maria Escudero-Escribano, Angel Cuesta, Francisco Prieto-Dapena, Consuelo Cerrillos, Manuela Rueda

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An electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (EC-STM) study of the adsorption of adenine on Au(111) electrodes was undertaken in the pH range between 1 and 7, aiming at achieving a deeper knowledge on the structure and organization of adenine chemisorbed on gold and at confirming previous conclusions obtained from combined electrochemical and in situ IR spectroscopy measurements. This study confirms that chemisorption of adenine induces the lifting of the Au(111) surface reconstruction. Furthermore, the 4% excess gold atoms of the reconstructed surface,which are expelled during lifting of the reconstruction, do not diffuse away from the reconstruction rows.We observe, in contrast, the formation of nanometric islands arranged forming chains along
the directions previously followed by the reconstruction solitons. Chemisorbed adenine adlayers consist of short chains of adeninemolecules roughly aligned along the three main crystallographic directions of the substrate and stabilized by π stacking. These chains tend to align parallel to each other, forming very small domains and yielding an adlayer with a very short-range order. The same adlayer structure is observed at all the studied pH values. The STMresults also confirm that, in very acidicmedia, and at lowpotentials, adenine adsorbs very weakly on the reconstructed Au(111) surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
JournalElectrochemistry Communications
Early online date10 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (CTQ2009-07017 and CTQ2010-19823) and from the Junta de Andalucia (PAI FQM202) is gratefully acknowledged. C. Vaz-Dominguez acknowledges a JAE Doc Fellowship from CSIC.


  • adenine adsorption
  • Au(111) electrodes
  • electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy
  • surface reconstruction
  • π-Stacking


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