Electrochemical activation of electrodes for amperometric detection of nitric oxide.
An open question in the literature of nitric oxide detection was investigated: does electrochemical activation account for the enhanced properties of certain presumed chemically-modified electrodes? Uniform electrodes of graphite, iridium, palladium, platinum, and ruthenium were exposed to potential cycling and then tested for amperometric response to nitric oxide to identify principles that govern electrochemical activation of nitric oxide electrodes. These electrodes were compared to similar electrodes that were not cycled. Only cycled graphite and ruthenium showed significantly increased responses. Graphite demonstrated enhanced performance after exposure to cycling potentials at which oxygen, CO(2), and soluble carbonates form, suggesting that erosion of the electrode enhanced its response by increasing the surface area accessible to nitric oxide. This may explain the performance of carbon fibers cycled to the same potentials in solutions containing metalloporphyrins. The response of ruthenium was enhanced after cycling to less extreme potentials at which soluble species do not form and at which a metallic conductive oxide, RuO(2), could lay down a stable, adherent layer on the electrode surface. Cycled ruthenium also exhibited a much greater increase in capacitance after cycling, consistent with the formation of a conductive surface layer.
Allen, BW; Piantadosi, CA
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