Analysis of catechol, 4-methylcatechol and dopamine electrochemical reactions on different substrate materials and pH conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Sara Chumillas
  • Tommi Palomäki
  • Meng Zhang
  • Tomi Laurila
  • Victor Climent
  • Juan M. Feliu

Research units

  • University of Alicante
  • Xiamen University


The electrochemical behavior of several structurally related catecholamine molecules has been investigated on different electrode materials with cyclic voltammetry, infrared spectroscopy and scanning tunnelling microscopy. Emphasis was on the identification of subsequent chemical processes that follow the main electron transfer step and complicate the interpretation of the mechanism, including the polymerization reaction and fouling of the electrode surface. Among the materials investigated, gold was found out to be the most active for the oxidation of catechol, 4-methylcatechol and dopamine. At the same time, it was also the electrode least sensitive to fouling after voltammetric cycling, exhibiting the highest reversibility. The effect of pH was also investigated. Increase in pH enhanced the processes of quinone hydroxylation and polymerization. Spectroscopic measurements allowed detection of both solution and adsorbed species participating in the oxidation and polymerization processes. Finally, STM results showed the formation of polydopamine granules on gold surfaces, which grew in size as the number of cycles increased. Measured height of the granules, less than 0.5 nm, suggests a flat orientation of the molecules conforming the polymer.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Catecholamines, Cyclic voltammetry, Dopamine, In situ infrared spectroscopy, Scanning tunnelling microscopy

ID: 29792412