Reactivity of Monolayer-Protected Gold Nanoclusters at Dye-Sensitized Liquid/Liquid Interfaces
Hexanethiolate monolayer-protected gold nanoclusters (MPCs) were used as redox quenchers at the polarizable water/1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) interface. Photocurrent responses originating from the heterogeneous quenching of photoexcited water soluble porphyrin complexes by MPCs dissolved in the DCE phase were observed. As MPCs can function as both electron acceptors and donors, the photocurrent results from the superposition of two simultaneous processes, which correspond to the oxidation and reduction of MPCs. The magnitude of the net photocurrent is essentially determined by the balance of the kinetics of these two processes, which can be controlled by tuning the Galvani potential difference between the two phases. We show that, within the available potential window, the apparent electron-transfer rate constants follow classical Butler−Volmer dependence on the applied potential difference.