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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 11, pp. 2041-2053

Published online 2011-07-11

Polymer-embedded gold and gold/silver nanoparticle-modified electrodes and their applications in catalysis and sensors

Shanmugam Manivannan and Ramasamy Ramaraj*

Centre for Photoelectrochemistry, School of Chemistry, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625 021, India

Abstract: Metal nanoparticles encapsulated by silicate sol-gel matrix find numerous applications particularly in electrocatalysis and sensors. In our previous reports, we have reported the mono- and bi-metal gold, silver, and core/shell gold/silver nanoparticles embedded in functionalized silicate sol-gel matrices. Modified electrodes were fabricated using mono- and bi-metallic gold, silver, and core/shell gold/silver nanoparticles embedded in silicate sol-gel, and they were used for the electrocatalysis and sensing of H2O2 and simultaneous detection of hydrazine, sulfite, and nitrite. We have prepared the gold nanoparticles encapsulated by amine-functionalized silicate sol-gel matrix in a single step without using any external reducing agents. The gold nanoparticles were also synthesized by using amine-functionalized silane monomer in the presence of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), resulting in metal/polymer core/shell nanostructures. This nanocomposite material showed a synergistic stabilizing effect when compared to either silicate sol-gel matrix or β-CD alone as stabilizer. The synthesized gold nanoparticles were characterized using UV–vis spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Modified electrodes were prepared by using the gold nanoparticles embedded in silicate sol-gel matrix, and their electrochemical characteristics were studied.