Synthesis of hybrid carbon nanomaterials synthesized by temperature-induced opening of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has yielded three types of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide nanoribbons (GONRs) hybrids. Graphene oxide nanoribbons are basically unzipped multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The main synthesis challenge is the production temperature, which is a critical parameter for the oxygen functional group formation, and determines their electronic structure and their electrochemical performance.
Researcher teams led by Professor Alberto Escarpa from University of Alcala and Professor M. Teresa Martínez at Instituto de Carboquimica ICB-CSIC in Spain proposed to investigate the electrochemical behavior of hybrid carbon nanomaterial production. Their aim was to control the chemistry involved in the production process of nanomaterials, thereby improving the electrochemical performance, which could lead to advanced materials for specific molecular detection. Their work is now published in the peer-reviewed journal Electrochimica Acta
At first, the research team synthesized carbon hybrid nanomaterials by unzipping commercially available MWCNTs at three different temperatures 55 °C, 65 °C and 75 °C, yielding three graphene nanohybrids.
The synthesized carbon nanomaterials were fully characterized by different techniques, such as XRD, Raman, FTIR, XPS and TEM to establish the structural differences according to the different processing temperatures. It was determined that the oxidation degree increases with the production temperature.
Then, electrochemical and impedance measurements were conducted for a wide range of target molecules, at standard temperature, on an electrochemical workplace using a tri-electrode system with a platinum wire, silver-silver chloride and a glassy carbon electrodes.
The team concluded that by controlling chemical oxidation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which generates graphene oxide nanoribbons, new gates are opened leading to exploitation of carbon nanomaterials, as novel materials for both electrochemical sensing and biosensing of relevant target molecules. GONR at 65º C yielded promising revelations by containing specific moieties of suitable electrochemical features, which display amazing analytical performance in electrochemical sensing of varying structure chemical molecules. According to the structural analysis, the electrochemical behavior seems to be associated to the progress of the unzipping reaction that influences the balance between the Csp2/Csp3 ratio, the graphitic fraction and the type of functional groups introduced.
These results exhibit the importance of temperature in the production process, for tailoring a carbon nanomaterial that could be utilized in a specific molecular detection application shedding light into new possibilities for electrochemical sensing applications. It also guides the process to the production of advanced materials to be utilized in a specific molecular detection application.
There is a requirement for advanced renewable energy source technologies in order to meet the long term energy demand challenge and protect the environmental balance. Carbon nanomaterials have great potential to advance renewable energy and supercapacitor technologies. One example is employing and modifying carbon nanotubes as electrodes to increase power production in microbial fuel cells because of their high conductivity and large surface area. This provides an opportunity for the participation of carbon nanomaterials, especially in biofuel cells. Moreover, major breakthrough contributed by carbon nanomaterials in the solar energy sector lies in their application in photovoltaic devices. The new tools and improved synthesis of graphene oxide nanoribbons generated in this study provide an excellent nanomaterial to be used as hole or electron transfer layer in solar cells.
María Moreno-Guzman1, Aída Martín1, María del Carmen Marín1, Tania Sierra1, Alejandro Ansón-Casaos2, María Teresa Martínez2, Alberto Escarpa1. Electrochemical behavior of hybrid carbon nanomaterials: the chemistry behind electrochemistry Electrochimica Acta volume 214 (2016) pages 286–294.Show Affiliations
- Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Alcala, E-28871, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
- Instituto de Carboquímica ICB-CSIC, Miguel Luesma Castán, 4, E-50018, Zaragoza, Spain
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