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Facile synthesis of ultrafine Co3O4 nanocrystals embedded carbon matrices with specific skeletal structures as efficient non-enzymatic glucose sensors

Li, Mian, Han, Ce, Zhang, Yufan, Bo, Xiangjie, Guo, Liping
Analytica chimica acta 2015 v.861 pp. 25-35
active sites, analytical chemistry, carbon, catalytic activity, chlorides, electrochemistry, electron transfer, glucose, graphene oxide, nanocrystals, nanoparticles, oxidation, porous media, surfactants, sustainable technology, synergism
A facile, effective, and environmentally friendly method has been adopted for the first time to prepare tiny Co3O4 nanocrystals embedded carbon matrices without using surfactants, harmful organic reagents or extreme conditions. Structural characterizations reveal that the size-controlled Co3O4 nanocrystals are uniformly dispersed on carbon matrices. Electrochemical measurements reveal that Co3O4-ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC) can more efficiently catalyze glucose oxidation and acquire better detection parameters compared with those for the Co3O4-macroporous carbon, Co3O4-reduced graphene oxide, and free Co3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) (such as: the large sensitivity (2597.5μAcm−2mM−1 between 0 and 0.8mM and 955.9μAcm−2mM−1 between 0.9 and 7.0mM), fast response time, wide linear range, good stability, and surpassingly selective capability to electroactive molecules or Cl−). Such excellent performances are attributed to the synergistic effect of the following three factors: (1) the high catalytic sites provided by the uniformly dispersed and size-controlled Co3O4 nanocrystals embedded on OMC; (2) the excellent reactant transport efficiency caused by the abundant mesoporous structures of OMC matrix: (3) the improved electron transport in high electron transfer rate (confinement of the Co3O4 NPs in nanoscale spaces ensured intimate contact between Co3O4 nanocrystals and the conducting OMC matrix). The superior catalytic activity and selectivity make Co3O4-OMC very promising for application in direct detection of glucose.