The synthesis of nanomaterials to be used as electrocatalysts is of paramount importance in the advances of analytical performance of electrochemical sensors. Sensors performance is closely related to materials surface, electron transfer process and surface area. The modification of surfaces with metallic nanoparticles (NPs) is a widely explored strategy to enhance electrocatalytic properties. Despite of countless advantages of NPs electrodeposition method some difficulties still needed to be overcome besides the fact some metals electrodeposition cannot be conducted in aqueous solution. For this purpose, the use of non-aqueous electrolyte such as ionic liquids has been described as a promising strategy to enhance electrodeposits quality. Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) are materials that are composed entirely of ions and are liquid below 100 °C. These materials have been proposed as environmentally-friendly alternatives to organic solvents for chemical processing. Due to their wide potential windows and inherent conductivities, these liquids have also been intensively used for electrochemical purposes. Moreover, the use of RTILs also facilitates the obtainment of nanostructured metallic deposits and presents many advantages over vacuum deposition techniques. In this project, we will perform the electrodeposition of metallic NPs onto nanodiamond films and other substrates using ionic liquids as electrolyte. The electrochemical characterisation of nanomaterials will be performed in RTILs using cyclic voltammetry and scanning electrochemical microscopy as well as morphological and structural characterisation. These findings could contribute to the development of a thorough understanding of the electrochemical properties of this unique system and mediate advances of electrocatalytic materials synthesis.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: