Facile and ultra-sensitive voltammetric electrodetection of Hg2+ in aqueous media using electrodeposited AuPtNPs/ITO†
In this study, we have investigated the use of electrodeposited Au–Pt nanoparticles (AuPtNPs) on indium tin oxide (ITO) for the detection of Hg2+ heavy ions in water samples. The mechanism of AuPtNP electrocrystallization on ITO glass in an aqueous solution containing 0.5 mM HAuCl4 + 0.5 mM H2PtCl6 is described for the first time. The nucleation mechanism of monometallic AuNPs on ITO was found to be progressive; however, a transition from progressive to instantaneous was observed for bimetallic AuPtNPs at elevated overpotentials. The modified ITOs were then assessed for the electrodetection of Hg2+ in aqueous media. It was shown by differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) that the sensitivity of the constructed AuPtNPs/ITO electrode toward Hg2+ was about 2.08 μA nM−1. An approximate detection limit of 4.03 nM Hg2+ was achieved, which is below the permissible level of 30.00 nM Hg2+ in drinking water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Characterization of AuPt nanostructures was carried out by X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and different electrochemical techniques (cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)). Our results indicate a good potential of a facile and robust electrochemical assembly for on-site detection of heavy metals in water samples.