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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 20 (2015) pp 342-344

Silver–Copper Bimetallic Alloy Nanoscale Electrochemical Sensor for the Detection of 1,2-Dihydroxybenzene Compounds

Latif-ur Rahman, Afzal Shah, Dionysios D. Dionysiou, Dolores Dodson§ and Suzanne Kay Lunsford§,*

†Department of Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320; ‡Environmental Engineering and Science Program, Department of Biomedical Chemical, and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0012; §Department of Chemistry, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio 45435,
Received November 9, 2015. Accepted December 18, 2015.

Published: 29 December 2015

Abstract. An inquiry-based lab activity was created to meet the 21st century learning objectives with real-world problem based skills and nanomaterial synthesis integrated with electrochemistry. An aqueous polymer solution method was utilized to carry out the synthesis of spherical shaped silver-copper alloy nanoparticles with an approximate size of 10–15 nm. These synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy and by FTIR. The bimetallic alloy nanoparticles were coated over different working electrodes (gold, platinum and carbon). The Ag-Cu bimetallic alloy coated working electrodes were applied in the detection of 1,2-dihydroxybenzenes (catecholamines: catechol and dopamine). The bimetallic alloy modified electrodes have exhibited improved response and more reversible behavior in the detection of common neurotransmitters compared to bare electrode response. This lab exercise has been beneficial in allowing students to learn about various important instrumental skills such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, UV-Visible spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry while engaging in nanoparticle synthesis.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytic chemistry

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