Microchimica Acta

, Volume 183, Issue 2, pp 617–623 | Cite as

Screen-printed electrodes made of a bismuth nanoparticle porous carbon nanocomposite applied to the determination of heavy metal ions

  • Pengfei Niu
  • César Fernández-Sánchez
  • Martí Gich
  • Carla Navarro-Hernández
  • Pablo Fanjul-Bolado
  • Anna Roig
Original Paper


This work reports on the simplified fabrication and on the characterization of bismuth-based screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) for use in heavy metal detection. A nanocomposite consisting of bismuth nanoparticles and amorphous carbon was synthesized by a combined one-step sol-gel and pyrolysis process and milled down to a specific particle size distribution as required for the preparation of an ink formulation to be used in screen printing. The resulting electrochemical devices were applied to the detection of Pb(II) and Cd(II) ions in water samples. The porous structure of carbon and the high surface area of the bismuth nanoparticles allow for the detection of Pb(II) and Cd(II) at concentration levels below 4 ppb. The application of the SPEs was demonstrated by quantifying these ions in tap drinking water and wastewater collected from an influent of an urban wastewater treatment plant.

Graphical Abstract

A tailor-made bismuth nanoparticle porous carbon nanocomposite material, synthesized by a sol-gel/pyrolysis process, was used for the fabrication of screen-printed electrodes applied to the detection of Pb(II) and Cd(II) in water samples.


Sol-gel process Lead(II) Cadmium(II) Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy Square wave anodic stripping voltammetry Cyclic voltammetry Water analysis 



This research was partially funded by the Spanish Government and cofounded by the European Social Fund (MAT2012-35324, TEC2010-17274, CGL2013-48460-C2), the Generalitat de Catalunya (2014SGR213, 2014SGR1645) and the European Commission (FP7-Marie Curie Actions, PCIG09-GA-2011-294168 grant and FP7-OCEAN-COMMON SENSE as well as the COST Action MP1202). The Chinese Scholarship Council fellowship of P. N. is also acknowledged.

Supplementary material

604_2015_1684_MOESM1_ESM.docx (779 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 778 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pengfei Niu
    • 1
  • César Fernández-Sánchez
    • 2
  • Martí Gich
    • 1
  • Carla Navarro-Hernández
    • 3
  • Pablo Fanjul-Bolado
    • 3
  • Anna Roig
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona, ICMAB (CSIC)BellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona, IMB-CNM (CSIC)BellaterraSpain
  3. 3.DropSens, S.L., Ed. CEEILlaneraSpain

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