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Highly Selective Self-Powered Sensing Platform for p-Nitrophenol Detection Constructed with a Photocathode-Based Photocatalytic Fuel Cell

Yan, Kai, Yang, Yaohua, Zhu, Yuhan, Zhang, Jingdong
Analytical chemistry 2017 v.89 no.17 pp. 8599-8603
anodes, ascorbic acid, carbon electrodes, cathodes, fuel cells, glass, monitoring, oxidation, p-nitrophenol, pollutants, polymers
A photocathode-based photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC) was fabricated and proposed as a self-powered sensor for p-nitrophenol (p-NP) detection. The PFC was comprised of a photocathode and an anode in separated chambers, which could generate suitable power output under photoirradiation to drive the sensing process. In this device, p-type PbS quantum dots-modified glass carbon electrode (GCE) served as the photocathode for the reduction of p-NP under photoirradiation while graphene-modified GCE was employed as the anode for the oxidation of ascorbic acid. In order to improve the selectivity of the PFC sensor, p-NP binding molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was introduced on the photocathode. Under optimal conditions, the open circuit voltage of the constructed PFC sensor was found to sensitively respond to p-NP in a wide concentration range from 0.05 μM to 20 μM. The proposed sensor exhibited high selectivity, good reproducibility, and stability, demonstrating the successful combination of MIP with photocathode in construction of high-performance PFC self-powered sensors for pollutant monitoring.