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Anal Chem. 2009 Jan 1;81(1):435-42. doi: 10.1021/ac801853r.

Carbon nanotube-ionic liquid composite sensors and biosensors.

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Department of Biology and Chemistry, American University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


A new composite electrode has been fabricated using multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and the ionic liquid n-octylpyridinum hexafluorophosphate (OPFP). This electrode shows very attractive electrochemical performances compared to other conventional electrodes using graphite and mineral oil, notably improved sensitivity and stability. One major advantage of this electrode compared to other electrodes using carbon nanotubes and other ionic liquids is its extremely low capacitance and background currents. A 10% (w/w) loading of MWCNT was selected as the optimal composition based on voltammetric results, as well as the stability of the background response in solution. The new composite electrode showed good activity toward hydrogen peroxide and NADH, with the possibility of fabricating a sensitive biosensor for glucose and alcohol using glucose oxidase and alcohol dehydrogenase, respectively, by simply incorporating the specific enzyme within the composite matrix. The marked electrode stability and antifouling features toward NADH oxidation was much higher for this composite compared to a bare glassy carbon electrode. While a loading of 2% MWCNT showed very poor electrochemical behavior, a large enhancement was observed upon gentle heating to 70 degrees C, which gave a response similar to the optimum composition of 10%. The ease of preparation, low background current, high sensitivity, stability, and small loading of nanotubes using this composite can create new novel avenues and applications for fabricating robust sensors and biosensors for many important species.

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