Insights into electrochemiluminescent enhancement through electrode surface modification

Emmet J. O'Reilly, Tia E. Keyes, Robert J. Forster, Lynn Dennany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
141 Downloads (Pure)


The electrochemiluminescent (ECL) properties of a luminescent metal centre, [Ru(bpy)(3)](2+), can be significantly modulated through its electronic interaction with neighbouring centres and the polymer backbone used to confine it on an electrode surface. From the perspective of ECL based sensing devices, an increase in the ECL efficiency of a metallopolymer film can result in enhanced sensor sensitivity and selectivity. This work probes the ECL properties of both conjugated, [Ru(bpy)(2)(PPyBBIM)(10)](2+), and non-conjugated, [Ru(bpy)(2)(PVP)(10)](2+), ruthenium based metallopolymer films based on a well documented reaction with sodium oxalate, where bpy is 2,2'-bipyridyl, PPYBBIM is poly[2-(2-pyridyl)-bibenzimidazole] and PVP is poly(4-vinylpyridine). Through a combination of ground state electrochemical studies and ECL measurements, the ECL efficiency for each film is determined. This study reveals that despite a dramatic influence in charge transfer rates between metal centres, as observed for the conducting polymer, mediated through the conducting polymer backbone, a corresponding increase in ECL efficiency is not always observed. The degree of communication between the adjacent excited state metal centres are an important consideration for ECL enhancement however self quenching, luminophore distribution and film porosity must also be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Early online date22 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2013


  • electrochemiluminescent enhancement
  • electrode surface modification
  • ECL
  • luminescent metal centre
  • polymer

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