Ames Laboratory; Physics and Astronomy
Ames Laboratory, Physics and Astronomy
Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Tailored design/fabrication of electroanalytical materials with highly-active exposed crystal planes is of great importance for the development of electrochemical sensing. In this work, combining experimental and theoretical efforts, we reported a facile strategy to fabricate TiO2 nanocrystals with tunable electrochemical performance for heavy metal detection. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations indicated that TiO2 (001) facet showed relative larger adsorption energy and lower diffusion energy barrier toward heavy metal ions, which is favorable for obtaining better electrochemical stripping behaviors. Based on this prediction, a series of TiO2 nanocrystals with different ratios of exposed (001) and (101) facets were synthesized. Electrochemical stripping experiments further demonstrated that with the increase of the percentage of exposed (001) facet, the sensitivity toward Pb(II) and Cd(II) was increased accordingly. When the percentage of exposed (001) facet was increased from 7% to 80%, the sensitivity increased by 190% and 93% for Pb(II) and Cd(II), respectively. Our work provides an effective route to construct advanced electroanalytical materials for sensing.
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Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)