The adsorption of pyridine (py) on Fe, Co, Ni and Ag electrodes was studied using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) to gain insight into the nature of the adsorbed species. The wavenumber values and relative intensities of the SERS bands were compared to the normal Raman spectrum of the chemically prepared transition metal complexes. Raman spectra of model clusters M(4)(py) (four metal atoms bonded to one py moiety) and M(4)(alpha-pyridil) where M = Ag, Fe, Co or Ni were calculated by density functional theory (DFT) and used to interpret the experimental SERS results. The similarity of the calculated M(4)(py) spectra with the experimental SERS spectra confirm the molecular adsorption of py on the surface of the metallic electrodes. All these results exclude the formation of adsorbed alpha-pyridil species, as suggested previously. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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