Hydrothermal core-shell carbon nanoparticle films: Thinning the shell leads to dramatic pH response

F. Xia, M. Pan, S. Mu, Y. Xiong, K.J. Edler, I. Idini, M.D. Jones, S.C. Tsang, F. Marken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon nanoparticles with phenylsulfonate negative surface functionality (Emperor 2000, Cabot Corp.) are coated with positive chitosan followed by hydrothermal carbonization to give highly pH-responsive core-shell nanocarbon composite materials. With optimised core-shell ratio (resulting in an average shell thickness of ca. 4 nm, estimated from SANS data) modified electrodes exhibit highly pH-sensitive resistance, capacitance, and Faradaic electron transfer responses (solution based, covalently bound, or hydrothermally embedded). A shell "double layer exclusion" mechanism is discussed to explain the observed pH switching effects. Based on this mechanism, a broader range of future applications of responsive core-shell nanoparticles are envisaged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15860-15865
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2012


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