Layer-by-Layer Assembled Cobalt Ferrite Nanoparticles for Chemical Sensing
Ultra-thin (thicknesses of 50–90 nm) nanocomposite films of cobalt ferrite nanoparticles (np-CoFe2O4, 18 nm in diameter) and polyelectrolytes (doped polyaniline-PANI, poly-3,4-ethylenedioxy thiophene: polystyrene sulfonic acid–PEDOT:PSS, and sulfonated lignin-SL) are assembled layer-by-layer onto interdigitated microelectrodes aiming at to create novel nanostructured sensoactive materials for liquid media chemical sensors. The nanocomposites display a distinctive globular morphology with nanoparticles densely-packed while surrounded by polyelectrolytes. Due to the presence of np-CoFe2O4 the nanocomposites display low electrical conductivity according to impedance data. On the other hand, this apparent shortcoming turns such nanocomposites much more sensitive to the presence of ions in solution than films made exclusively of conducting polyelectrolytes. For example, the electrical resistance of np-CoFe2O4/PEDOT:PSS and PANI/SL/np-CoFe2O4/SL architectures has a 10-fold decrease when they are immersed in 20 mmol. L−1 NaCl solution. Impedance spectra fitted with the response of an equivalent circuit model suggest that the interface created between nanoparticles and polyelectrolytes plays a major role on the nanocomposites electrical/dielectrical behavior. Since charge transport is sensitive to nanoparticle-polyelectrolyte interfaces as well as to the physicochemical conditions of the environment, the np-CoFe2O4-based nanocomposites can be used as sensing elements in chemical sensors operated under ac regime and room temperature.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-09-01
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