, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 297–307 | Cite as

Ultrafine copper decorated polypyrrole nanotube electrode for nitrite detection

  • Yuqing Shen
  • Guodong Zhu
  • Jianmao Yang
  • Jianyun LiuEmail author
Original Paper


In this report, a nitrite electrochemical sensor was developed by electrochemical deposition of copper nanoparticles on the polypyrrole nanotubes (PPy-Cu). The PPy nanotubes were synthesized via pyrrole polymerization on electrospun polystyrene nanofibers (PS) with the diameter of 150 nm, followed by PS removal. The prepared nanotubes were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Ultrafine Cu nanoparticles with the size of 4.2 ± 1.2 nm were uniformly deposited on PPy tubes by electrolysis. The existence of zero valence Cu particles was demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photo spectroscopy (XPS). The electrochemical behaviors of the PPy and PPy-Cu electrodes were investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). PPy enhances the deposition of Cu dramatically and facilitates the uniform distribution of the copper nanoparticles. The obtained PPy-Cu exhibits an excellent catalytic activity to the reduction of nitrite. The catalytic performance of the resultant PPy-Cu electrodes was optimized by varying the PPy morphology and Cu deposition amount. Using hydrodynamic current-time curves, the linear relationship was obtained, under the optimized conditions, in the range of 0.1 μM to 1 mM with a limit of detection of 0.03 μM (S/N > 3). The sensor presents good reproducibility and stability for nitrite determination.


Electrospinning Polypyrrole nanotubes Copper nanoparticle Nitrite reduction 


Funding information

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21476047, 21776045).

Supplementary material

11581_2018_2577_MOESM1_ESM.doc (3.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 3583 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuqing Shen
    • 1
  • Guodong Zhu
    • 1
  • Jianmao Yang
    • 2
  • Jianyun Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and Engineering, State Environmental Protection Engineering Center for Pollution Treatment and Control in Textile IndustryDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Research Center for Analysis & MeasurementDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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