Transferring and Retaining of Different Polyaniline Nanofeatures via Electrophoretic Deposition for Enhanced Sensing Performance

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Nanofeatured polyaniline (PANI) electrodes have demonstrated impressive sensing performance due to the enhanced electrolyte diffusion and ion transport. However, the retaining of these nanostructures on substrates via electrophoretic deposition (EPD) faces an insurmountable challenge from the involved dedoping process. Here, camphorsulfonic acid is utilized with high steric effects to dope PANI (PANI-CSA) that can be directly used EPD without involving a dedoping process. Five different nanofeatures (sea cucumber-like, nanofiber, amorphous, nanotube, and nanorod) are synthesized, and they have been all successfully transferred onto indium tin oxide substrate in a formic acid/acetonitrile system, namely a morphology memory effect. The mechanism of retaining these nanofeatures is revealed, which is realized via the processes of dissolution of PANI-CSA, codoping and solvation, and reassembly of basic units into the original nanofeature. The enhanced protonation level by the codoping of formic acid and solvation of acetonitrile plays the key role in retaining these nanofeatures. This method is also applicable to transfer PANI/gold nanorod composites (PANI-CSA/AuNRs). The PANI-CSA/AuNRs electrode as an ascorbic acid sensor has shown an excellent sensing performance with a sensitivity up to 872.7 µA mm−1 cm−2 and a detection limit of as low as 0.18 × 10−6 m.

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Australian Research Council



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