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Anodic stripping voltammetry with photochemical preconcentration at nanocrystalline TiO2 films: detection of Ag+ and Hg2+

Saurez, M.F. and Mills, A. and Egdell, R.G. and Compton, R.G. (2000) Anodic stripping voltammetry with photochemical preconcentration at nanocrystalline TiO2 films: detection of Ag+ and Hg2+. Electroanalysis, 12 (6). pp. 413-419. ISSN 1040-0397

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Nanocrystalline TiO2 deposited on conducting glass plates is shown to be an excellent material for preconcentration of silver and mercury, via photochemical reaction, prior to their detection by anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV). During the first stage of growth in the photoreduction of silver or mercury, 3D nuclei are formed on the TiO2 film. As the deposition proceeds micrometer size agglomerates grow on the surface. The conical morphology of the silver nuclei grown on a (110) rutile single crystal in the initial stages of growth suggests that there is a preferential deposition of silver at the centre of the growing nuclei. When the nuclei size reach a critical value (ca. 400 nm diameter, 40 nm height) the morphology changes to a globular shape without any preferential site for deposition on the surface of the silver nucleus. It was observed that micromolar concentrations of silver or mercury can be detected by anodic stripping voltammetry and relatively large amounts of these metals (micrometer scale nuclei) can be loaded on the nanocrystalline TiO2 film surface. The latter opens the possibility of analytical applications of nanocrystalline TiO2 electrodes for the selective detection of silver or mercury via photochemical anodic stripping voltammetry.