Nanocomposite electrodes made of carbon nanofibers and black wax. Anodic stripping voltammetry of zinc and lead

N. Van Dijk, S. Fletcher, C. E. Madden, F. Marken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


Nanocomposite electrodes offer exciting new possibilities in electroanalytical chemistry. In this preliminary study, nanocomposite electrodes made of carbon nanofibers and black wax were characterized and investigated as novel substrates for metal deposition and stripping processes. Carbon nanofibers were grown from ethylene-hydrogen gas mixtures over Fe-Ni-Cu (85:10:5) nanoparticle catalysts at 600 °C and then embedded in Apiezon black wax under vacuum at 140 °C. The resulting nanocomposite electrodes showed (i) good conductivity, (ii) a wide potential window in aqueous solutions, (iii) low background currents, (iv) near steady state voltammetric responses with substantial Faradaic currents and (v) sharply peaked fast scan metal stripping responses. Zinc is a notoriously difficult metal to determine in aqueous solutions, because its deposition and stripping are accompanied by hydrogen evolution at extreme negative potentials. It therefore provided a challenging test for our new nanocomposite electrode. Although numerous complications associated with the hydrogen evolution process could not be eliminated, remarkably clear voltammograms could be obtained even at scan rates of 40 V s-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1878-1881
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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