Surface-Electronic-State-Modulated, Single-Crystalline (001) TiO2 Nanosheets for Sensitive Electrochemical Sensing of Heavy-Metal Ions

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Key Laboratory of Environmental Optics and Technology, Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230031, P.R. China
Department of Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, P.R. China
Department of Micro/Nano Electronics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P.R. China
*E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: +86-551-65591142. Fax: +86-551-65592420 (J.-H.L.).
*E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: +86-551-65591142. Fax: +86-551-65592420 (X.-J.H.).
Cite this: Anal. Chem. 2017, 89, 6, 3386–3394
Publication Date (Web):February 21, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Intrinsically low conductivity and poor reactivity restrict many semiconductors from electrochemical detection. Usually, metal- and carbon-based modifications of semiconductors are necessary, making them complex, expensive, and unstable. Here, for the first time, we present a surface-electronic-state-modulation-based concept applied to semiconductors. This concept enables pure semiconductors to be directly available for ultrasensitive electrochemical detection of heavy-metal ions without any modifications. As an example, a defective single-crystalline (001) TiO2 nanosheet exhibits high electrochemical performance toward Hg(II), including a sensitivity of 270.83 μA μM–1 cm–2 and a detection limit of 0.017 μM, which is lower than the safety standard (0.03 μM) of drinking water established by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has been confirmed that the surface oxygen vacancy adsorbs an O2 molecule while the Ti3+ donates an electron, forming the O2•– species that facilitate adsorption of Hg(II) and serve as active sites for electron transfer. These findings not only extend the electrochemical sensing applications of pure semiconductors but also stimulate new opportunities for investigating atom-level electrochemical behaviors of semiconductors by surface electronic-state modulation.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04023.

  • Morphology and the statistical analysis of the size and distribution; nitrogen adsorption–desorption isotherms; the corresponding fast Fourier transform patterns; DSC analysis; the ratio of F to Ti element of TiO2 samples; optimal experimental conditions; calculation of electrically active area of electrodes; comparison of electrochemical sensitivities; morphology and structure of TiO2 nanoparticles; stability and anti-interference ability studies; normalized Ti K-edge absorption curves; EXAFS analysis; existence of oxygen vacancy and Ti3+; Ti 2p spectrum; photographs; normalized Hg L3-edge absorption curves in the relevant- and post-edge regions; comparison on the electrochemical performance of different electrodes used for Hg(II) detection; results of EXAFS analysis for TiO2 sample (PDF)

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