American Chemical Society
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Ultrasonic Assisted Synthesis of Size-Controlled Cu-Metal–Organic Framework Decorated Graphene Oxide Composite: Sustainable Electrocatalyst for the Trace-Level Determination of Nitrite in Environmental Water Samples

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-06-11, 00:13 authored by P. Arul, N. S. K. Gowthaman, S. Abraham John, Hong Ngee Lim
Excess levels of nitrite ion in drinking water interact with amine functionalized compounds to form carcinogenic nitrosamines, which cause stomach cancer. Thus, it is indispensable to develop a simple protocol to detect nitrite. In this paper, a Cu-metal–organic framework (Cu-MOF) with graphene oxide (GO) composite was synthesized by ultrasonication followed by solvothermal method and then fabricated on a glassy carbon (GC) electrode for the sensitive and selective determination of nitrite contamination. The SEM image of the synthesized Cu-MOF showed colloidosome-like structure with an average size of 8 μm. Interestingly, the Cu-MOF–GO composite synthesized by ultrasonic irradiation followed by solvothermal process produce controlled size of 3 μm colloidosome-like structure. This was attributed to the formation of an exfoliated sheet-like structure of GO by ultrasonication in addition to the obvious influence of GO providing the oxygen functional groups as a nucleation node for size-controlled growth. On the other hand, the composite prepared without ultrasonication exhibited 6.6 μm size agglomerated colloidosome-like structures, indicating the crucial role of ultrasonication for the formation of size-controlled composites. XPS results confirmed the presence of Cu­(II) in the as-synthesized Cu-MOF–GO based on the binding energies at 935.5 eV for Cu 2p3/2 and 955.4 eV for Cu 2p1/2. The electrochemical impedance studies in [Fe­(CN)6]3–/4– redox couple at the composite fabricated electrode exhibited more facile electron transfer than that with Cu-MOF and GO modified electrodes, which helped to utilize Cu-MOF–GO for trace level determination of nitrite in environmental effluent samples. The Cu-MOF–GO fabricated electrode offered a superior sensitive platform for nitrite determination than the Cu-MOF and GO modified electrodes demonstrating oxidation at less positive potential with enhanced oxidation current. The present sensor detects nitrite in the concentration range of 1 × 10–8 to 1 × 10–4 M with the lowest limit of detection (LOD) of 1.47 nM (S/N = 3). Finally, the present Cu-MOF–GO electrode was successfully exploited for nitrite ion determination in lake and dye contaminated water samples.