Microchimica Acta

, 185:255 | Cite as

Study of carbon nanotube-rich impedimetric recognition electrode for ultra-low determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water

  • Jose Muñoz
  • Cristina Navarro-Senent
  • Nuria Crivillers
  • Marta Mas-Torrent
Original Paper


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been studied as an electrochemical recognition element for the impedimetric determination of priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water, using hexocyanoferrate as a redox probe. For this goal, an indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode functionalized with a silane-based self-assembled monolayer carrying CNTs has been engineered. The electroanalytical method, which is similar to an antibody-antigen assay, is straightforward and exploits the high CNT–PAH affinity obtained via π–interactions. After optimizing the experimental conditions, the resulting CNT-based impedimetric recognition platform exhibits ultra-low detection limits (1.75 ± 0.04 ng·L−1) for the sum of PAHs tested, which was also validated by using a certified reference PAH mixture.

Graphical abstract

Schematic of an indium-tin-oxide (ITO) electrode functionalized with a silane-based self-assembled monolayer carrying carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as a recognition platform for the ultra-low determination of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water via π–interactions using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS).


Indium tin oxide Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Self-assembled monolayers Environmental pollutants Surface engineering 



This work was funded by the ERC StG 2012-306826 e-GAMES. The authors also thank the DGI (Spain) project FANCY CTQ2016-80030-R, the Generalitat de Catalunya (2017-SGR-918) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the “Severo Ochoa” Programme for Centers of Excellence in R&D (SEV-2015-0496). Dr. J. Muñoz gratefully acknowledges the “Juan de la Cierva” programme.

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_2783_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 6359 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Muñoz
    • 1
  • Cristina Navarro-Senent
    • 1
  • Nuria Crivillers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marta Mas-Torrent
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC)BellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Networking Research Center on Bioengineering Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN)BellaterraSpain

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