Electrochemical behavior of polypyrrol/AuNP composites deposited by different electrochemical methods. Sensing properties towards catechol
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Two different methods were used to obtain polypyrrole/AuNP (Ppy/AuNP) composites. One through the electrooxidation of the pyrrole monomer in the presence of colloidal gold nanoparticles, referred to as trapping method (T), and the second one by electrodeposition of both components from one solution containing the monomer and a gold salt, referred to as cogeneration method (C). In both cases, electrodeposition was carried out through galvanostatic and potentiostatic methods and using platinum (Pt) or stainless steel (SS) as substrates. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrated that in all cases gold nanoparticles of similar size were uniformly dispersed in the Ppy matrix. The amount of AuNPs incorporated in the Ppy films was higher when electropolymerization was carried out by chronopotentiometry (CP). Besides, cogeneration method allowed for the incorporation of a higher number of AuNPs than trapping. Impedance experiments demonstrated that the insertion of AuNPs increased the conductivity. As an electrochemical sensor, the Ppy/AuNp deposited on platinum exhibited a strong electrocatalytic activity towards the oxidation of catechol. The effect was higher in films obtained by CP than in films obtained by chronoamperometry (CA). The influence of the method used to introduce the AuNPs (trapping or cogeneration) was not so important. The limits of detection (LOD) were in the range from 10−5 to 10−6 mol/L. LODs attained using films deposited on platinum were lower due to a synergy between AuNPs and platinum that facilitates the electron transfer, improving the electrocatalytic properties. Such synergistic effects are not so pronounced on stainless steel, but acceptable LOD are attained with lower price sensors.
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