Conducting polypyrrole (PPy) thin-film electrodes were prepared by the electropolymerization of pyrrole on gold-coated glass plates. Films of various roughnesses were obtained by the variation of the scan rates during electropolymerization. These thin films were modified by doping with 6mM of the dopant NiCl 2. The surface morphology of the films was studied by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM), which suggested films prepared with a high scan rate were rougher in nature than the films produced with a low scan rate. The electrocatalytic reduction of nitrobenzene was carried out with these electrodes with the cyclic voltammetry technique in acetonitrile containing 0.1M HClO 4 as a supporting electrolyte. The various results obtained show that the conducting PPy thin-film electrodes were catalytically active toward the electroreduction process. The modified PPy film electrodes doped with NiCl 2 were more active toward nitrobenzene electroreduction than the PPy film alone. The results indicate that the roughness of the films played a very important role in determining their catalytic activity. The PPy films that were more rough in nature were catalytically more active than the smooth films; this may have been due to the availability of more reactive sites in the case of rough films. The apparent diffusion coefficients of the PPy film electrodes were also calculated. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.