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Issue 22, 2011
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Electrochemical behaviour and voltammetric sensitivity at arrays of nanoscale interfaces between immiscible liquids

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Abstract

Arrays of nanoscale interfaces between immiscible electrolyte solutions were formed using silicon nitride nanopore array membranes. Nanopores in the range from 75 nm radius down to 17 nm radius were used to form the nano-interfaces. It was found that the liquid organic phase electrolyte solution filled the pores so that inlaid nano-interfaces were formed with the aqueous phase. Cyclic voltammetry at these nano-interface arrays demonstrated steady-state behaviour at the larger interfaces but the voltammetric wave-shape became progressively worse as the interface size decreased. It was found that the ion transfer currents were ca. 50% of those expected based on theoretical calculations, which is attributed to overlap of diffusion zones at adjacent nano-interfaces. Here, the separation between adjacent nano-interfaces was 20-times the interface radius. The analytical sensitivity for ion transfer from the aqueous to the 1,6-dichlorohexane organic phase was estimated from calibration plots of current density versus concentration of aqueous tetraethylammonium cation. The sensitivity was in the range of 65 μA cm−2 μM−1 (at 75 nm radius interfaces) to 265 μA cm−2 μM−1 (at 17 nm radius interfaces). The sensitivity depended directly on the inverse of the nano-interface radius, implying that smaller interfaces will provide better sensitivity, due to the enhanced flux of analyte arising from convergent diffusion to smaller electrochemical interfaces.

Graphical abstract: Electrochemical behaviour and voltammetric sensitivity at arrays of nanoscale interfaces between immiscible liquids

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jun 2011, accepted on 26 Jul 2011 and first published on 22 Aug 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15509A
Citation: Analyst, 2011,136, 4674-4681
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    Electrochemical behaviour and voltammetric sensitivity at arrays of nanoscale interfaces between immiscible liquids

    M. Rimboud, R. D. Hart, T. Becker and D. W. M. Arrigan, Analyst, 2011, 136, 4674
    DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15509A

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