Effect of Electrochemical Oxidation on Physicochemical Properties of Fe‐Containing Single‐Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Metal catalysts are necessary for fabricating carbon nanotubes, but are often considered impurities in the end products, and arduous steps are used to remove catalyst residues from the nanotube structure. However, as metals can be electrocatalytic, instead of removing them we can utilize their role in detection of analgesics. Herein, we study the physicochemical properties of Fe‐containing single‐walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and the effect of simple oxidative pretreatment on them. We show that a gentle anodic pretreatment i) increased the amount of oxidized Fe nanoparticles, most likely exhibiting phases Fe₃O₄ and Fe₂O₃ and ii) effectively removed disordered carbonaceous material from SWCNT bundles surfaces. Pretreatment had only a marginal effect on sensitivity towards analgesics. However, interestingly, selectivity of Fe‐SWCNTs towards paracetamol and morphine could be modified with pretreatment. Through this kind of in‐depth investigation, we can, to a certain extent, correlate various material properties of SWCNTs with the observed electrochemical performance. This approach allows us to evaluate what factors in SWCNTs truly affect the electrochemical detection of biomolecules.