Ultrasonic-electrodeposition of PtPd alloy nanoparticles on ionic liquid-functionalized graphene paper: towards a flexible and versatile nanohybrid electrode.Nanoscale. 2016 Jan 21; 8(3):1523-34.N
Here we fabricate a new type of flexible and versatile nanohybrid paper electrode by ultrasonic-electrodeposition of PtPd alloy nanoparticles on freestanding ionic liquid (IL)-functionalized graphene paper, and explore its multifunctional applications in electrochemical catalysis and sensing systems. The graphene-based paper materials demonstrate intrinsic flexibility, exceptional mechanical strength and high electrical conductivity, and therefore can serve as an ideal freestanding flexible electrode for electrochemical devices. Furthermore, the functionalization of graphene with IL (i.e., 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate) not only increases the electroactive surface area of a graphene-based nanohybrid paper electrode, but also improves the adhesion and dispersion of metal nanoparticles on the paper surface. These unique attributes, combined with the merits of an ultrasonic-electrodeposition method, lead to the formation of PtPd alloy nanoparticles on IL-graphene paper with high loading, uniform distribution, controlled morphology and favourable size. Consequently, the resultant nanohybrid paper electrode exhibits remarkable catalytic activity as well as excellent cycle stability and improved anti-poisoning ability towards electrooxidation of fuel molecules such as methanol and ethanol. Furthermore, for nonenzymatic electrochemical sensing of some specific biomarkers such as glucose and reactive oxygen species, the nanohybrid paper electrode shows high selectivity, sensitivity and biocompatibility in these bio-catalytic processes, and can be used for real-time tracking hydrogen peroxide secretion by living human cells. All these features demonstrate its promising application as a versatile nanohybrid electrode material in flexible and lightweight electrochemical energy conversion and biosensing systems such as bendable on-chip power sources, wearable/implantable detectors and in vivo micro-biosensors.