Microchimica Acta

, Volume 183, Issue 5, pp 1553–1561 | Cite as

Amperometric nitrite sensor based on a glassy carbon electrode modified with multi-walled carbon nanotubes and poly(toluidine blue)

  • Juan Dai
  • Dongli Deng
  • Yali Yuan
  • Jinzhong ZhangEmail author
  • Fei Deng
  • Shuang He
Original Paper


An amperometric nitrite sensor modified with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and poly(toluidine blue) (PTB) on glassy carbon electrode was constructed. The surface morphology of the composite- modified electrode was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, and the electrochemical response behavior and electrocatalytic oxidation mechanism of nitrite were investigated by cyclic voltammetry. The high surface-to-volume ratio of MWCNTs and PTB brings the electrochemical sensing unit and nitrite in full contact. This renders the electrochemical response extremely sensitive to nitrite. Under the optimal measurement conditions and a working voltage of 0.73 V (vs. SCE), a linear relationship is obtained between the oxidation peak current and nitrite concentration in the range of 39 nM–1.1 mM, and the limit of detection is lowered to 19 nM (at an S/N ratio of 3). The sensor was successfully applied to the determination of nitrite in greenhouse soils.

Graphical abstract

A glassy carbon electrode modified with multi-walled carbon nanotubes and poly(toluidine blue) is shown to be a viable amperometric nitrite sensor. It has a linear response in the 39 nM to 1.1 mM nitrite concentration range and a 19 nM detection limit.


Cyclic voltammetry Scanning electron microscopy Amperometry Electrocatalytic oxidation Electropolymerization Nanocomposite Greenhouse soil 



This work was supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Program) of China (2012AA101405).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interest

All authors declare that no competing interests exist.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Dai
    • 1
  • Dongli Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yali Yuan
    • 3
  • Jinzhong Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Fei Deng
    • 1
  • Shuang He
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Eco-environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Ministry of Education, College of Resources and EnvironmentSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical EngineeringChongqing Industry Polytechnic CollegeChongqingChina
  3. 3.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.Chongqing Key Laboratory of Agricultural Resources and EnvironmentChongqingChina

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