Nanocellulose has emerged as a promising green dispersant for carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and there is an increasing trend in developing nanocellulose/CNT hybrid materials for electrochemical detection of various small molecules. However, there have been very few comprehensive studies investigating the role of nanocellulosic material properties upon the electroanalytical performance of the resultant hybrid electrodes. In this work, we demonstrate the influence of both nanocellulose functionalization and geometry, utilizing sulfated cellulose nanocrystals, sulfated cellulose nanofibers, and TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers. Transmission electron microscopy tomography enables direct visualization of the effect of nanocellulosic materials on the hybrid architectures. High resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy verifies that the chemical nature of CNTs in the different hybrids is unmodified. Electroanalytical performances of the different nanocellulose/CNT hybrid electrodes are critically evaluated using physiologically relevant biomolecules with different charge such as, dopamine (cationic), paracetamol (neutral), and uric acid (anionic). The hybrid electrode containing fibrillar nanocellulose geometry with a high degree of sulfate group functionalization provides the highest electroanalytical sensitivity and strongest enrichment towards all studied analytes. These results clearly demonstrate for the first time, the extent of tailorability upon the electroanalytical response of nanocellulose/CNT hybrid electrodes towards different biomolecules, offered simply by the choice of nanocellulosic materials.
- Carbon nanotubes
- Hybrid materials