Plasma treatment is frequently used to clean and modify the surface of materials, including polymers and graphite. However, very limited information has been reported concerning the modification of a matrix, such as a screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) which is consisted of a mixture of graphite and pasting binder, using plasma. In this study, the surface characteristics and electrochemical properties of the plasma-treated SPCEs were investigated. The plasma-treated SPCEs performed a good electrochemical response (enhanced about 80-fold compared with those untreated electrode) and exhibited good reproducibility (CV of 4.8%). The response of plasma-treated electrodes was comparable with the electrodes modified with noble metal and superior to those electrode modified with carbon nanotube (CNT) (ca. 20-fold). SEM imaging revealed that an effective decomposition or removal of impurities and pasting binder on the surface of SPCEs during oxygen plasma treatment. The plasma treatment increases the step-like defects on the surfaces of graphite particles resulting in the generation of numerous edge planes. The phenomena could be responsible for the improvement of the electrochemical properties of SPCEs. The results also suggest that the plasma treatment condition is important. Over-erosion on the SPCE surface by high powered plasma may lead to the poor reproducibility of the SPCEs.
- Edge planes
- Electrochemical properties
- Screen-printed carbon electrode