Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Maryanne M. Collinson


The importance of porous materials has risen substantially in the last few decades due to their ability to reduce the size and cost of bioanalytical devices and fuel cells. First, this work aims to describe the fabrication of nanoporous gold (NPG) electrodes that are resistant to electrode passivation due to fibrinogen biofouling in redox solutions. The effect on potentiometric and voltammetric experiments was seen as a deviation from ideal behavior on planar gold electrodes, whereas NPG electrodes were consistently behaving in a Nernstian fashion at low concentrations of ferri-ferrocyanide (£100 mM). An improvement in electrode behavior on NPG electrodes versus planar gold was seen in solutions containing ascorbic acid as well as blood plasma. Second, cost effective NPG electrodes were fabricated using a glass substrate to test the response in the presence of a variety of redox molecules. The optical transparency of these electrodes allowed for microdroplet measurements to be made using an inverted microscope in several redox solutions for validation and subsequent biological applicability. Nernstian behavior was demonstrated for all one- and two-electron transfer systems in both poised and unpoised solutions. All experiments were conducted using volumes between 280 and 1400 pL producing rapid results in less than one minute. Third, in order to decrease the requirement for complex instrumentation, microdroplet fabrication technique was used to create mini-nanoporous gold (mNPG) electrodes on glass capillary tubes. The cylindrical shape of the electrodes allowed for testing in sample volumes of 100 mL. The response to ferri-ferrocyanide, ascorbic acid, cysteine, and uric acid was then investigated with Nernstian behavior shown. However, the mNPG electrodes were insensitive to glucose and hydrogen peroxide. In order to increase the sensitivity of the electrodes, a minimal amount of platinum was electrodeposited onto the NPG surface using a low concentration of platinum salt (0.75 mM) for a short deposition time (2 seconds) producing a Nernstian response to both glucose and hydrogen peroxide. Lastly, to test the viability of crossover applications, the platinum incorporated NPG electrode was employed as a fuel cell anode material, testing their oxidation capability with methanol, ethanol, and formic acid.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Wednesday, May 10, 2023