Microchimica Acta

, Volume 183, Issue 8, pp 2361–2368 | Cite as

Gold nanoparticle modified screen-printed carbon arrays for the simultaneous electrochemical analysis of lead and copper in tap water

  • Prosper KanyongEmail author
  • Sean Rawlinson
  • James Davis
Original Paper


Disposable screen-printed carbon arrays modified with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are described. The AuNP-modified screen-printed carbon arrays, designated as AuNP-SPCE arrays, were characterized by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The AuNP-SPCE arrays display excellent electrocatalytic activity towards lead and copper. Two well-defined and fully resolved anodic stripping peaks, at 20 mV for Pb(II) and at 370 mV for Cu(II), both vs. Ag/AgCl, can be seen. Square wave anodic stripping voltammetry was used to simultaneously analyze Pb(II) and Cu(II) in their binary mixtures in tap water. The linear working range for Pb(II) extends from 10 μg.L−1 to 100 μg.L−1 with a sensitivity of 5.94 μA.μg−−2. The respective data for Cu(II) are a working range from 10 μg.L−1 to 150 μg.L−1 with a sensitivity of 3.52 μA.μg−−2. The limits of detection (based on 3× the baseline noise) are 2.1 ng.L−1 and 1.4 ng.L−1, respectively. In our perception, this array is particularly attractive because Pb(II) and Cu(II) can be determined at rather low working potentials which makes the method fairly selective in that it is not significantly interfered by other electroactive species that require higher reduction potentials.

Graphical abstract

Fabrication, characterization and electrochemical behavior of gold nanoparticles modified screen-printed carbon arrays towards lead and copper in tap water.


Nanomaterial-based sensing Screen-printed electrodes Heavy metal analysis Disposable sensor Hexacyanoferrate Cyclic voltammetry Square wave anodic stripping voltammetry Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Electrode coverage Dual sensing 



The authors would like to thank the Department of Employment and Learning Ireland (Grant No.: USI035) and the National Institutes of Health (Grant No.: 5R01ES003154-30) for the funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUlster UniversityJordanstownUnited Kingdom

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