Microchimica Acta

, 186:97 | Cite as

Simultaneous voltammetric determination of cadmium(II), lead(II), mercury(II), zinc(II), and copper(II) using a glassy carbon electrode modified with magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles and fluorinated multiwalled carbon nanotubes

  • Wenqin Wu
  • Mingming Jia
  • Zhongzheng Wang
  • Wen Zhang
  • Qi Zhang
  • Guozhen Liu
  • Zhaowei ZhangEmail author
  • Peiwu LiEmail author
Original Paper


A method is described for the simultaneous voltammetric determination of the heavy metal ions cadmium(II), lead(II), mercury(II), zinc(II), and copper(II) using a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles and fluorinated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (Fe3O4/F-MWCNTs). The Fe3O4/F-MWCNT composite was synthesized by a hydrothermal method and characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, elemental mapping, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and square wave stripping voltammetry. Under the optimum conditions, the electrode displays excellent response to the ions. Figures of merit for Cd(II), Pb(II), Hg(II), Zn(II), and Cu(II), respectively, include (a) high electrochemical sensitivity (29.88, 43.50, 120.86, 47.34 and 90.31 (μA μM−1 cm−2), (b) well separated peaks (at −0.70, −0.53, +0.37, −1.11 and + 0.01 V vs. Ag/AgCl); (c) low limits of detection (0.014, 0.0084, 0.0039, 0.012, and 0.0053 μM); and (d) wide linear ranges (0.048–30.0, 0.028–30.0, 0.013–32.5, 0.039–32.5, and 0.017–31.5 μM). The modified GCE displays satisfying selectivity in the presence of potentially interfering other metal ions, stability for 30 days, and reproducibility of electrodes (with a relative standard deviation between 1.2 and 4.8% for n = 6). The modified GCE was applied to the determination of several heavy metal ions in (spiked) water and rice samples, and the results agreed well with data obtained by atomic fluorescence spectrometry or inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The dramatic performance probably result from the semi-ionic C-F bond on F-MWCNTs surface with a strong negative charge, the good electrical conductivity of the F-MWCNTs and Fe3O4, the synergistic interaction between Fe3O4 and F-MWCNTs, and the nafion conductive membrane improving the stability of the modified layer and enhanced cation adsorption.

Graphical abstract

An environmentally-friendly, low-cost, high-throughput Fe3O4/fluorinated multi-walled carbon nanotube composite (Fe3O4/F-MWCNTs) modified glassy carbon electrode is described. It was applied to simultaneous electrochemical determination of Cd(II), Pb(II), Hg(II), Zn(II), and Cu(II) by square wave stripping voltammetry


Nanomaterial Nafion Electrochemical sensor Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Square wave stripping voltammetry Five heavy metal ions 



This work was financially supported by National Program for support of Top-notch Young Professionals, China, the ARC Future Fellowship FT160100039, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics CE140100003 Australia.

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare the compliance with ethical standards and have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3216_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 2.84 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.National Reference Laboratory for Biotoxin TestWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil CropsMinistry of AgricultureWuhanChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Detection for MycotoxinsMinistry of AgricultureWuhanChina
  5. 5.Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, ARC Centre of Excellence in Nanoscale Biophotonics, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Laboratory of Risk Assessment for Oilseeds Products (Wuhan)Ministry of AgricultureWuhanChina

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