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Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1281; doi:10.3390/s16081281

Plasma-Modified, Epitaxial Fabricated Graphene on SiC for the Electrochemical Detection of TNT

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

Using square wave voltammetry, we show an increase in the electrochemical detection of trinitrotoluene (TNT) with a working electrode constructed from plasma modified graphene on a SiC surface vs. unmodified graphene. The graphene surface was chemically modified using electron beam generated plasmas produced in oxygen or nitrogen containing backgrounds to introduce oxygen or nitrogen moieties. The use of this chemical modification route enabled enhancement of the electrochemical signal for TNT, with the oxygen treatment showing a more pronounced detection than the nitrogen treatment. For graphene modified with oxygen, the electrochemical response to TNT can be fit to a two-site Langmuir isotherm suggesting different sites on the graphene surface with different affinities for TNT. We estimate a limit of detection for TNT equal to 20 ppb based on the analytical standard S/N ratio of 3. In addition, this approach to sensor fabrication is inherently a high-throughput, high-volume process amenable to industrial applications. High quality epitaxial graphene is easily grown over large area SiC substrates, while plasma processing is a rapid approach to large area substrate processing. This combination facilitates low cost, mass production of sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasma modified graphene; epitaxial graphene; electrochemical detection; square wave voltammetry plasma modified graphene; epitaxial graphene; electrochemical detection; square wave voltammetry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Trammell, S.A.; Hernández, S.C.; Myers-Ward, R.L.; Zabetakis, D.; Stenger, D.A.; Gaskill, D.K.; Walton, S.G. Plasma-Modified, Epitaxial Fabricated Graphene on SiC for the Electrochemical Detection of TNT. Sensors 2016, 16, 1281.

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