• adsorption;
  • electrochemistry;
  • gold;
  • monolayers;
  • proteins


The orientation and conformation of adsorbed cytochrome c (cyt c) at the interface between an electrode modified with colloidal Au and a solution were studied by electrochemical, spectroscopic, and spectroelectrochemical techniques. The results indicate that the colloidal Au monolayer formed via preformation of an organic self-assembled monolayer (SAM) can increase the electronic coupling between the SAM and cyt c in the same manner as bifunctional molecular bridges, one functional group of which is bound to the electrode surface while the other interacts with the protein surface. The approach of cyt c to the modified electrode/solution interface can be assisted by strong interactions of the intrinsic charge of colloidal particles with cyt c, while the heme pocket remains almost unchanged due to the screening effect of the negatively charged field created by the intrinsic charge. The conformational changes of cyt c induced by its adsorption at a bare glassy carbon electrode/solution interface and the effect of the electric field on the ligation state of the heme can be avoided at the colloidal-Au-modified electrode/solution interface. Finally, a possible model for the adsorption orientation of cyt c at the colloidal-Au-modified electrode/solution interface is proposed.