Although considered a relatively inactive surface in electrochemical environment, the catalytic activity of gold has been investigated in many systems such as the oxidation of carbon monoxide at room temperature in heterogeneous catalysis. At the solid/liquid interface, according to the formation of oxygenated species, two potential regions are generally identified during the electrooxidation of small organic molecules. However, there are no reports concerning detailed studies on the impact of the change of experimental parameters such as solution pH, potential and time of polarization on the formation of oxygenated species on gold surfaces. In this way, it is proposed in the present project the systematic investigation of the electrooxidation process of polycrystalline gold surfaces under different experimental conditions such as solution pH, potential and time of polarization. Besides the electrochemical variables, the mass changes at the surface will be investigated by means of in situ monitoring with the electrochemical quartz crystal nanobalança. The main goal is to infer about the identity of the oxygenated species formed during the electrooxidation of the gold surface, and also to obtain the relative populations of the different species as a function of the solution pH and of the applied potential.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: