Analytical chemistry

Tungsten carbide nanotubes supported platinum nanoparticles as a potential sensing platform for oxalic acid.

PMID 25022882


Supported tungsten carbide is an efficient and vital nanomaterial for the development of high-performance, sensitive, and selective electrochemical sensors. In this work, tungsten carbide with tube-like nanostructures (WC NTs) supported platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) are synthesized and explored as an efficient catalyst toward electrochemical oxidation of oxalic acid for the first the time. The WC NTs supported PtNPs modified glassy carbon (GC) electrode is highly sensitive toward the electrochemical oxidation of oxalic acid. A large decrease in the oxidation overpotential (220 mV) and significant enhancement in the peak current compared to unmodified and Pt/C modified GC electrodes have been observed without using any redox mediator. Moreover, WC NTs supported PtNPs modified electrode possessed wide linear concentration ranges from 0 to 125 nM and a higher sensitivity toward the oxidation of oxalic acid (80 nA/nM) achieved by the amperometry method. The present modified electrode showed an experimentally determined lowest detection limit (LOD) of 12 nM (S/N = 3). Further, WC NTs supported PtNPs electrode can be demonstrated to have an excellent selectivity toward the detection of oxalic acid in the presence of a 200-fold excess of major important interferents. The practical application of WC NTs supported PtNPs has also been demonstrated in the detection of oxalic acid in tomato fruit sample, by differential pulse voltammetry under optimized conditions.