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Regal electrochemistry: British 5 pence coins provide useful metallic macroelectrode substrates

Tan, F and Smith, JP and Kampouris, DK and Kamieniak, J and Banks, CE (2015) Regal electrochemistry: British 5 pence coins provide useful metallic macroelectrode substrates. Analyst, 140.

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Abstract

The utilisation of British Currency (GBP) as an electrode substrate is demonstrated for the first time. Termed Regal electrochemistry, a 5 pence (5p) coin (GBP) is electrically wired using a bespoke electrochemical cell and is electrochemically characterised using the outer-sphere redox probe hexaammineruthenium(III) chloride. The electroanalytical utility of the 5p coin electrode is demonstrated towards the novel, proof-of-concept sensing of lead(II) ions using square-wave voltammetry in model buffer solutions over the linear range 5-2000 nM exhibiting a limit of detection (3σ) of 1.97 nM. Interestingly, the actual cost of the electrode is 2.5 pence (GBP) since both sides of the coins can be utilised and provide a cheap yet reproducible and disposable metallic electrode substrate that is electrochemically useful.

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