Hope College Department of Physics and Engineering
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2006
Project Summary


Project Title:

Rutherford Backscattering on Electropolymerized Carbon Electrodes

Student Name: Meghan Winer
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Paul DeYoung and Dr. Graham Peaslee
Source of Support: National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers 0354920 and 0319523.

A ruthenium compound, ruthenium bis(1,10-phenanthroline)(4-methyl-4'-vinyl-2,2'-bipyridine), was electropolymerized, using cyclic voltammetry, onto glassy carbon electrodes and examined at the Hope Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory. The polymerized electrodes were examined using an ion beam analysis technique ( Rutherford backscattering) to quantitatively determine the thickness and composition of the thin film. The amount of ruthenium in the polymer film on electrodes with various numbers of electropolymerization cycles was determined. A film thickness was estimated based upon the amount of ruthenium measured on each target. However, the overall thickness was uncertain because the amount of carbon in the polymer film could not be distinguished from the carbon in the electrode. Further measurements will be conducted to provide accurate layer thickness information on the end of the electrodes.

*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-REU Grant No. 0452206