Indexed on: 08 Nov '13Published on: 08 Nov '13Published in: Nanoscale
High-performance hydrogen peroxide sensors provide valuable signals of biological interactions, disorders, and developing of diseases. Low-cost metal oxides are promising alternatives but suffer from low conductivity and sensing activity. Multi-component metal oxides are excellent candidates to accomplish these challenges, but the composition inhomogeneity is difficult to manage with conventional material preparation. We demonstrated redox preparation strategies to successfully synthesize highly homogeneous, noble metal-free H2O2 sensors of spinel nanostructured cobalt manganese oxides with enhanced conductivity, multiple mixed-valence features, and efficient H2O2 sensing activities. The designed redox reactions accompanied with material nucleation/formation are the key factors for compositional homogeneity. High conductivity (1.5 × 10(-2) S cm(-1)) and H2O2 sensing activity (12 times higher than commercial Co3O4) were achieved due to the homogeneous multiple mixed-valence systems of Co(ii)/(iii) and Mn(iii)/(iv). A wide linear detection range (from 0.1 to 25 mM) with a detection limit of 15 μM was observed. Manganese species assist the formation of large surface area nanostructures, enhancing the H2O2 reduction activities, and inhibit the sensing interference. The material controls of hierarchical nanostructures, elemental compositions, porosity, and electrochemical performances are highly associated with the reaction temperatures. The temperature-dependent properties and nanostructure formation mechanisms based on a reaction rate competition are proposed.