An electrochemical platform was developed based on a pencil-graphite electrode (PGE) modified with electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ERGO) sheets and in conjunction with an in situ plated bismuth-film (ERGO-PG-BiE). The ERGO-PG-BiE was used as a sensing platform for determining Zn 2+ , Cd 2+ and Pb 2+ by square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV). ERGO sheets were deposited on to pencil-graphite electrodes by cyclic voltammetric reduction from a graphene oxide (GO) solution. The GO, with flake thicknesses varying between 1.78 to 2.10 nm (2 sheets) was characterized using FT-IR, HR-SEM, HR-TEM, AFM, XRD and Raman spectroscopy. Parameters influencing the electroanalytical response of the ERGO-PG-BiE such as, bismuth-film concentration, deposition potential, deposition time and rotation speed were investigated and optimized. The ERGO-PG-BiE gave well-defined, reproducible peaks with detection limits of 0.19 µg L-1 , 0.09 µg L-1 and 0.12 µg L-1 for Zn 2+ , Cd 2+ and Pb 2+ respectively, at a deposition time of 120 seconds. For real sample analysis, the enhanced voltammetric sensor proved to be suitable for the detection and quantitation of heavy metals below the US EPA prescribed drinking water standards of 5 mg L-1 , 5 µg L-1 and 15 µg L-1 for Zn 2+ , Cd 2+ and Pb 2+ respectively.
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