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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 22 (2017) pp 187-190

Simultaneous Detection of Lead and Cadmium Using a Silver Nanoparticle Polymer Carbon Nanotube Composite Modified Electrode

Stamatina Tolias, Suzanne Lunsford*,, and Lei Zhai

Wright State University, Department of Chemistry, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Ohio 45435,;University of Central Florida, Nanoscience Technology Center, 12424 Research Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32826
Received July 23, 2017. Accepted October 23, 2017.

Published: 6 November 2017

Abstract. The following article describes an introductory electro-analytical experiment which utilizes working electrodes modified with a carbon nanotube polystyrene sulfonate coating with silver nanoparticles (CNT-PSS-Ag) to detect analytes with Square Wave Anodic Stripping Voltammetry (SWASV). This lab has particularly focused on the simultaneous detection of two heavy metals, Lead (Pb) and Cadmium (Cd), without the need of prior separation. The experiment has allowed for the expansion of undergraduate knowledge regarding carbon nanotube (CNT) materials, polymers and silver nanoparticles, and their application as composite modifications to enhance electrode surface electrocatalytic activity. Furthermore, throughout its completion, students have received the opportunity to analyze the electrocatalytic activity at the surface of the modified electrode involved in detecting heavy metals, through the use of SWASV electrochemical analysis. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was another such technique of analysis which students were exposed to, in order to characterize the morphology of the modified electrode surfaces.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; carbon nanotubes; polymer (polystyrene sulfonate); environment; sensor development; nanoparticle-silver; electrochemistry; and (Square Wave Anodic Stripping Voltammetry) SWASV

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