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Electrochemical sensors and biosensors based on less aggregated graphene

Bo, Xiangjie, Zhou, Ming, Guo, Liping
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2017 v.89 pp. 167-186
active sites, biosensors, electrical conductivity, electrochemistry, electrodes, graphene, strength (mechanics), surface area
As a novel single-atom-thick sheet of sp² hybridized carbon atoms, graphene (GR) has attracted extensive attention in recent years because of its unique and remarkable properties, such as excellent electrical conductivity, large theoretical specific surface area, and strong mechanical strength. However, due to the π-π interaction, GR sheets are inclined to stack together, which may seriously degrade the performance of GR with the unique single-atom layer. In recent years, an increasing number of GR-based electrochemical sensors and biosensors are reported, which may reflect that GR has been considered as a kind of hot and promising electrode material for electrochemical sensor and biosensor construction. However, the active sites on GR surface induced by the irreversible GR aggregations would be deeply secluded inside the stacked GR sheets and therefore are not available for the electrocatalysis. So the alleviation or the minimization of the aggregation level for GR sheets would facilitate the exposure of active sites on GR and effectively upgrade the performance of GR-based electrochemical sensors and biosensors. Less aggregated GR with low aggregation and high dispersed structure can be used in improving the electrochemical activity of GR-based electrochemical sensors or biosensors. In this review, we summarize recent advances and new progress for the development of electrochemical sensors based on less aggregated GR. To achieve such goal, many strategies (such as the intercalation of carbon materials, surface modification, and structural engineering) have been applied to alleviate the aggregation level of GR in order to enhance the performance of GR-based electrochemical sensors and biosensors. Finally, the challenges associated with less aggregated GR-based electrochemical sensors and biosensors as well as related future research directions are discussed.