Potential-dependent structure of the interfacial water on the gold electrode

Satoshi Nihonyanagi, Shen Ye, Kohei Uosaki, Laurrent Dreesen, Christphe Humbert, Paul Thiry, Andre Peremans

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Doubly tunable sum frequency generation (SFG) spectra demonstrate that the water molecules at gold/electrolyte interface change their orientation with applied potential. At negative potentials, water molecules in the double layer align with their oxygen atom pointing to the solution. As potential became positive to be close to the potential of zero charge (PZC), the SFG signal decreased, suggesting the OH groups of the water molecule are either in random orientation or parallel to the electrode. As potential became more positive than the PZC, the SFG signal increased again with the oxygen-up orientation as same as in the negative potential region, indicating that water molecules interact with the adsorbed sulfate anions. The peak position of the SFG spectra indicates a relatively disordered state of water molecules at the gold electrode surface, in contrast to the previously observed ice-like structure of water at electrolyte/oxide interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec 1
EventProceedings of the 9th International Fischer Symposium - Munich, Germany
Duration: 2003 Jul 212003 Jul 23


  • Electrochemical methods
  • Metal-electrolyte interfaces
  • Sum frequency generation
  • Surface structure, morphology, roughness, and topography
  • Water


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential-dependent structure of the interfacial water on the gold electrode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this