Title page for ETD etd-10252011-112507

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Adekunle, Abolanle Saheed
URN etd-10252011-112507
Document Title Electrochemical and electrocatalytic properties of carbon nanotubes integrated with selected metal and metal oxide nanoparticles
Degree PhD
Department Chemistry
Advisor Name Title
Dr K I Ozoemena Supervisor
  • metal oxide nanoparticles
  • electrocatalytic properties
  • electrochemical properties
  • metal
Date 2011-09-09
Availability unrestricted
This work describes metal (M) and metal oxides (MO) films (where M = Ni, Co and Fe) obtained by electrosynthesis and chemical synthesis, and modified with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on edged plane pyrolytic graphite electrode (EPPGE). The MO nanoparticles investigated are nickel oxide (NiO), cobalt oxide Co3O4) and iron oxide (Fe2O3). Successful modification of the electrodes with the M or MO/CNT nanocomposite was confirmed by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), x-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), fourier transformed infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. Electron transport (ET) properties of the modified electrodes was explored using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopic techniques (EIS) with ferricyanide/ferrocyanide ([Fe(CN) 6]3-/4-) as the redox probe. The electron transfer constant (k0) differs in terms of materials, method of synthesis and electrical equivalent circuits used in the fitting or modelling process. Generally, the k0 values are in the 10-3 10-2 cms-1 with Ni nanoparticles having the highest k0 or fastest electron transport. The presence of CNTs also enhances the ET compared with electrodes without CNTs. The electrocatalytic properties of the modified electrodes were explored using the following analytical probes: diethylaminoethanethiol (DEAET), hydrazine, nitrite and dopamine. The study showed that the electrocatalytic oxidation of DEAET and hydrazine was favoured on electrode modified with Ni nanoparticles; nitrite and dopamine were best catalysed by the Co and Fe2O3 nanoparticles, respectively. Electroanalysis results (using chronoamperometry, square wave voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry) indicated some level of adsorption of DEAET, hydrazine and nitrite on the modified electrode, while dopamine electrocatalytic oxidation and detection followed a simple diffusion controlled process. The adsorption process was found to be physically induced and could be eliminated by repetitive cycling of the electrode in the aqueous electrolyte solution. Electrodes modified with chemically-synthesised material (particularly nickel) were less adsorptive towards DEAET and hydrazine detection, and gave sensitivity and limit of detection values that compared with data obtained using electrochemical deposition / synthesis. The chemical stability and reproducibility of the modified electrodes were determined and discussed. Finally, electrochemical properties were studied to help screen these electrode materials in supercapacitors. CNT-NiO nanocomposites exhibit remarkable super capacitive behaviour in neutral and acidic media compared to the other CNT-MO nanocomposites investigated. Interestingly, the capacitive behaviour of the CNT-NiO was more enhanced in H2SO4 solution than in Na2SO4, possibly due to the high conductivity of the former. The CNT-NiO electrode maintained good stability with only about 5% loss of its specific capacitance after 1000 cycle life.

2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Adekunle, AS 2010, Electrochemical and electrocatalytic properties of carbon nanotubes integrated with selected metal and metal oxide nanoparticles, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10252011-112507/ >


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