Co-deposition of carbon dots and reduced graphene oxide nanosheets on carbon-fiber microelectrode surface for selective detection of dopamine
In this work, carbon dots (CD) decorated graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets were electrochemically reduced and deposited onto carbon fiber (CF) to fabricate microelectrodes for highly sensitive and selective dopamine (DA) detection, in the presence of ascorbic acid (AA) and uric acid (UA). The results have shown that surface modification considerably increases the electrocatalytic activity of the carbon fiber microelectrode. Due to possible aggregation of the rGO sheets during deposition, modifying the microelectrode surface with rGO sheets alone cannot achieve the selectivity required for simultaneous detection of DA, AA and UA. Through attaching CD onto GO sheets, the rGO + CD/CF microelectrode performance was significantly improved. The existence of CD on GO sheets can effectively avoid inter-layer stacking of the rGO sheets and provide increased surface area for neurotransmitter-electrode interaction enhancement. The CD can also increase the charge storage capacity of GO sheets. This is the first report on applying both CD and rGO for surface modification of carbon fiber microelectrode. The rGO + CD/CF microelectrode has achieved a linear DA detection concentration range of 0.1–100 μM, with a detection limit of 0.02 μM. The sensitivity of the microelectrode towards DA was as high as 6.5 nA/μM, which is significantly higher than previously reported carbon fiber microelectrodes. The highly sensitive all-carbon based microelectrodes should find use in a number of biomedical applications, such as neurotransmitter detection, neural signal recording and cell physiology studies.