We report a combined theoretical and experimental study of the interaction between a series of transition metals (Ni, Cu, Zn) and acrylonitrile. We demonstrate experimentally that the transition metal has a selective role in the grafting of electropolymerized acrylonitrile. Nickel and copper substrates support the formation of a polyacrylonitrile film, while zinc does not. Quantum chemical calculations indicate that acrylonitrile molecules form π-d bonds with Ni and Cu atoms, but do not react chemically with a Zn atom, in qualitative agreement with the experiment. Computational results also show that the electron affinity is significantly increased upon chemisorption, promoting radical anion species at the metal surface as initiators for polymerization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry