Bismuth Film-Coated Gold Ultramicroelectrode Array for Simultaneous Quantification of Pb(II) and Cd(II) by Square Wave Anodic Stripping Voltammetry

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Mar 5;21(5):1811. doi: 10.3390/s21051811.


The widespread presence of heavy metals in drinking water sources arises as a major health concern, particularly in developing countries. The development of low-cost and reliable detection techniques is identified as a societal need to provide affordable water quality control. Herein, a bismuth film-coated gold ultramicroelectrode array (BF-UMEA) was used for the detection of Pb(II) and Cd(II) in water samples via square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV). Experimental parameters such as deposition time, Bi(III) concentration, acetate buffer concentration, pH, square wave frequency, amplitude, and step potential were all varied to determine their effects on the current peak intensities of the target metal ions. Ten-fold excess in the concentration of interferences was found to cause a decrease in the stripping peak areas of Cd(II) and Pb(II) in the following order of magnitude: benzene < NaCl < Ni(II) < Cu(II). Using Box-Behnken design, the optimum SWASV parameters that provided maximum current peak areas were 14.76 Hz (frequency), 50.10 mV (amplitude), and 8.76 mV (step potential). The limits of detection of the as-prepared BF-UMEA were 5 and 7 µg L-1 for Pb(II) and Cd(II), respectively. These results demonstrate the potential use of a BF-UMEA in SWASV for the trace quantification of Pb(II) and Cd(II) in water samples.

Keywords: anodic stripping voltammetry; bismuth film electrode; electroanalysis; environmental water analyses; heavy metal detection; ultramicroelectrode array; water quality.