Vibrational Spectroscopic Techniques for Probing Bioelectrochemical Systems

  • Philip A. Ash
  • Kylie A. VincentEmail author
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 158)


A more complete understanding of bioelectrochemical interfaces is of increasing importance in both fundamental studies and biotechnological applications of proteins. Bioelectrochemical methods provide detailed information about the activity or rate of a process, but in situ spectroscopic methods are needed to gain direct structural insight into functionally relevant states. A number of methods have been reported that allow electrochemical and spectroscopic data to be collected from the same electrode, providing direct spectroscopic ‘snapshots’ of protein function, and here we focus on the application of infrared and Raman spectroscopies to the study of electrode-immobilised species. The ability to probe coordination at metal centres, protonation changes in amino acid side chains, reaction-induced changes in organic cofactors or substrates, protein orientation and subtle changes in protein secondary structure simultaneously, rapidly and at room temperature means that vibrational spectroscopic approaches are almost uniquely applicable to answering a wide range of questions in bioelectrochemistry.


Spectroelectrochemistry In situ spectroscopy Biocatalysis Electrocatalysis Infrared Raman SERS SERRS SEIRA Membrane protein Redox enzyme 



The authors are grateful to the European Research Council (EnergyBioCatalysis-ERC-2010-StG-258600), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/L009722/1), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N013514/1) for funding. We wish to thank Pathinan Paengnakorn and Charlotte McKenna for recording the IR spectrum of carboxymyoglobin in Fig. 1, Rebecca Shutt for acquiring the spectra used in Fig. 4 and Ricardo Hidalgo for experimental data collection for and preparation of Figs. 7, 15 and 16.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry LaboratoryUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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