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Electrostatic Catalysis using Functionalized Silicon Electrodes

Author(s): Asim Shah

External electric fields that are oriented are increasingly emerging as "smart effectors" of chemical processes. The main difficulties in researching electrostatic catalysis experimentally are I regulating the direction of fields along the reaction axis and carefully modifying the magnitudes of electrostatic stimuli. Surface models offer a flexible framework for addressing the direction of electric fields with regard to reactants and managing the trade-off between charged species solubility and electric field intensity. In this mini-review, we discuss recent breakthroughs in the study of the electrostatic influence on chemical reactions on monolayer-functionalized silicon surfaces. We are primarily interested in determining the mediator/catalysis role of static electric fields induced by either solid/liquid electric double layers at electrode/electrolyte interfaces or space charges in semiconductors, indicating that electrostatic aspects are important in semiconductor electrochemistry, redox electroactivity and chemical bonding. The functionalization of silicon surfaces allows scientists to investigate electrostatic catalysis from the nanoscale to the mesoscale; more importantly, it provides glimpses of the broad potentials of oriented electric fields for turning on/off macroscale synthetic organic electrochemistry and living radical polymerization.

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