Phase transformation-controlled synthesis of CuO nanostructures and their application as an improved material in a carbon-based modified electrode†
Column-shaped CuO nanorods have been synthesized by a two-step “precursor formation-crystallization” process using a hydrothermal method with advantages of being template- and surfactant-free. The regular particle morphology of the as-prepared material was explored to be produced through a good transformation process coupled with a series of phase changes from CuCl, to Cu2(OH)3Cl, to Cu(OH)2, which rely on heat by using NaOH and n-butylamine solution in a sealed vessel, and finally to CuO. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Raman spectroscopy were employed to characterize the morphology and structures of our samples. The as-prepared CuO nanostructures have been employed to modify a glassy carbon electrode for nonenzymatic glucose oxidation. Compared with the bare glassy carbon electrode, the CuO modified electrode exhibits satisfactory performance with an apparent rate constant of κ as high as 231.0 M−1 s−1 due to its high specific surface area and especially good electron delivery capability of the CuO nanorods.