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Graphene oxide electrochemistry: The electrochemistry of graphene oxide modified electrodes reveals coverage dependent beneficial electrocatalysis

Brownson, DAC and Smith, GC and Banks, CE (2017) Graphene oxide electrochemistry: The electrochemistry of graphene oxide modified electrodes reveals coverage dependent beneficial electrocatalysis. Royal Society Open Science, 4 (11). ISSN 2054-5703

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Abstract

© 2017 The Authors. The modification of electrode surfaces is widely implemented in order to try and improve electron transfer kinetics and surface interactions, most recently using graphene related materials. Currently, the use of ‘as is’ graphene oxide (GO) has been largely overlooked, with the vast majority of researchers choosing to reduce GO to graphene or use it as part of a composite electrode. In this paper, ‘as is’ GO is explored and electrochemically characterized using a range of electrochemical redox probes, namely potassium ferrocyanide(II), N′, N′, N′, N′-tetramethyl-pphenylenediamine (TMPD), dopamine hydrochloride and epinephrine. Furthermore, the electroanalytical efficacy of GO is explored towards the sensing of dopamine hydrochloride and epinephrine via cyclic voltammetry. The electrochemical response of GO is benchmarked against pristine graphene and edge plane-/basal plane pyrolytic graphite (EPPG and BPPG respectively) alternatives, where the GO shows an enhanced electrochemical/electroanalytical response. When using GO as an electrode material, the electrochemical response of the analytes studied herein deviate from that expected and exhibit altered electrochemical responses. The oxygenated species encompassing GO strongly influence and dominate the observed voltammetry, which is crucially coverage dependent. GO electrocatalysis is observed, which is attributed to the presence of beneficial oxygenated species dictating the response in specific cases, demonstrating potential for advantageous electroanalysis to be realized. Note however, that crucial coverage based regions are observed at GO modified electrodes, owing to the synergy of edge plane sites and oxygenated species. We report the true beneficial electrochemistry of GO, which has enormous potential to be beneficially used in various electrochemical applications ‘as is’ rather than be simply used as a precursor to making graphene and is truly a fascinating member of the graphene family.

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