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2D Hexagonal Boron Nitride (2D-hBN) Explored for the Electrochemical Sensing of Dopamine

Khan, AF, Brownson, DAC, Randviir, EP, Smith, GC and Banks, CE (2016) 2D Hexagonal Boron Nitride (2D-hBN) Explored for the Electrochemical Sensing of Dopamine. Analytical Chemistry, 88 (19). pp. 9729-9737. ISSN 0003-2700


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© 2016 American Chemical Society. Crystalline 2D hexagonal boron nitride (2D-hBN) nanosheets are explored as a potential electrocatalyst toward the electroanalytical sensing of dopamine (DA). The 2D-hBN nanosheets are electrically wired via a drop-casting modification process onto a range of commercially available carbon supporting electrodes, including glassy carbon (GC), boron-doped diamond (BDD), and screen-printed graphitic electrodes (SPEs). 2D-hBN has not previously been explored toward the electrochemical detection/electrochemical sensing of DA. We critically evaluate the potential electrocatalytic performance of 2D-hBN modified electrodes, the effect of supporting carbon electrode platforms, and the effect of "mass coverage" (which is commonly neglected in the 2D material literature) toward the detection of DA. The response of 2D-hBN modified electrodes is found to be largely dependent upon the interaction between 2D-hBN and the underlying supporting electrode material. For example, in the case of SPEs, modification with 2D-hBN (324 ng) improves the electrochemical response, decreasing the electrochemical oxidation potential of DA by ∼90 mV compared to an unmodified SPE. Conversely, modification of a GC electrode with 2D-hBN (324 ng) resulted in an increased oxidation potential of DA by ∼80 mV when compared to the unmodified electrode. We explore the underlying mechanisms of the aforementioned examples and infer that electrode surface interactions and roughness factors are critical considerations. 2D-hBN is utilized toward the sensing of DA in the presence of the common interferents ascorbic acid (AA) and uric acid (UA). 2D-hBN is found to be an effective electrocatalyst in the simultaneous detection of DA and UA at both pH 5.0 and 7.4. The peak separations/resolution between DA and UA increases by ∼70 and 50 mV (at pH 5.0 and 7.4, respectively, when utilizing 108 ng of 2D-hBN) compared to unmodified SPEs, with a particularly favorable response evident in pH 5.0, giving rise to a significant increase in the peak current of DA. The limit of detection (3σ) is found to correspond to 0.65 μM for DA in the presence of UA. However, it is not possible to deconvolute the simultaneous detection of DA and AA. The observed electrocatalytic effect at 2D-hBN has not previously been reported in the literature when supported upon carbon or any other electrode. We provide valuable insights into the modifier-substrate interactions of this material, essential for those designing, fabricating, and consequently performing electrochemical experiments utilizing 2D-hBN and related 2D materials.

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