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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(2), 28; doi:10.3390/nano6020028

Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Studies of Imogolite and Fe-Modified Imogolite Nanotubes

1
Department of Chemistry of Materials, University of Santiago of Chile, 9170022 Santiago, Chile
2
Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CEDENNA, 9170022 Santiago, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mo Song
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract

Carbon nanotubes and other forms of carbon nanoparticles, as well as metal nanoparticles have been widely used in film electrochemistry because they allow for the immobilization of larger amounts of catalyst (either biological or inorganic) on the top of the modified electrodes. Nevertheless, those nanoparticles present high costs of synthesis and of separation and purification that hamper their employment. On the other hand, imogolites (Im), with the general formula (OH)3Al2O3SiOH, are naturally-occurring nanomaterials, which can be obtained from glassy volcanic ash soils and can also be synthesized at mild conditions. In this research paper, we characterize through spectroscopic techniques (i.e., fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)) synthetized Im and Fe-modified imogolite (Im(Fe)). Moreover, the Im and Im(Fe) were physically adsorbed on the top of a graphite electrode (GE) and were characterized electrochemically in the potential region ranging from −0.8 to 0.8 V vs. the saturated calomel electrode (SCE). When the film of the Im or of the Im(Fe) was present on the top of the electrode, the intensity of the charging/discharging current increased two-fold, but no redox activity in the absence of O2 could be appreciated. To show that Im and Im(Fe) could be used as support for catalysts, iron phthalocyanine (FePc) was adsorbed on the top of the Im or Im(Fe) film, and the electrocatalytic activity towards the O2 reduction was measured. In the presence of the Im, the measured electrocatalytic current for O2 reduction increased 30%, and the overpotential drastically decreased by almost 100 mV, proving that the Im can act as a good support for the electrocatalysts. View Full-Text
Keywords: imogolite; Fe-modified imogolite; iron phthalocyanine; modified electrodes; oxygen reduction reaction imogolite; Fe-modified imogolite; iron phthalocyanine; modified electrodes; oxygen reduction reaction
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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

Castro, C.; Arancibia-Miranda, N.; Acuña-Rougier, C.; Escudey, M.; Tasca, F. Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Studies of Imogolite and Fe-Modified Imogolite Nanotubes. Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 28.

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