Electric spark discharge was employed as a green, fast and extremely facile method to modify disposable graphite screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) with copper, nickel and mixed copper/nickel nanoparticles (NPs) in order to be used as nonenzymatic glucose sensors. Direct SPEs-to-metal (copper, nickel or copper/nickel alloys with 25/75, 50/50 and 75/25wt% compositions) sparking at 1.2kV was conducted in the absence of any solutions under ambient conditions. Morphological characterization of the sparked surfaces was performed by scanning electron microscopy, while the chemical composition of the sparked NPs was evaluated with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The performance of the various sparked SPEs towards the electro oxidation of glucose in alkaline media and the critical role of hydroxyl ions were evaluated with cyclic voltammetry and kinetic studies. Results indicated a mixed charge transfer- and hyroxyl ion transport-limited process. Best performing sensors fabricated by Cu/Ni 50/50wt% alloy showed linear response over the concentration range 2-400μM glucose and they were successfully applied to the amperometric determination of glucose in blood. The detection limit (S/N 3) and the relative standard deviation of the method were 0.6µM and <6% (n=5, 2µM glucose), respectively. Newly devised sparked Cu/Ni graphite SPEs enable glucose sensing with distinct advantages over existing glucose chemical sensors in terms of cost, fabrication simplicity, disposability, and adaptation of green methods in sensor's development.
Keywords: Green method; Mixed copper nickel nanoparticles; Non enzymatic glucose sensor; Screen-printed electrodes; Sparked electrodes.
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