A batch microfabrication of a microfluidic electrochemical sensor for rapid chemical oxygen demand measurement
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is one of the key water quality parameters in environmental monitoring. However, fabricating a COD sensor with the characteristic of batch-processing and rapid measurement is always a challenging issue. This paper reports a microfluidic electrochemical sensor for the organic matter measurement based on advanced oxidization within a fixed microvolume detection chamber by a microfabrication technique/MEMS. By fabricating a silicon-based Ag/AgCl reference electrode and employing PbO2 as the working electrode with Pt as the counter electrode, we verified the superiority of the as-fabricated sensor by continuous potassium acid phthalate detection; an acceptable limit of detection (4.17 mg L−1–200 mg L−1), a low limit of detection (2.05 mg L−1), a desirable linearity (R2 = 0.982) and relative stability at different pH values and Cl− concentrations was witnessed. Particularly, a shorter detection time (2 s) was witnessed for the as-proposed sensor compared with traditional organic matter measurement methods. Each sensing process takes only 2 seconds for sensing because a micro-cavity with a volume of 2.5 μL was fabricated and used as a detection pool. Moreover, as the sensor was fabricated by a mass-production technique, potential response consistency of multiple sensors was expected and was verified via a series of parallel experiments. In this paper, a miniaturized (8 mm × 10 mm), low-cost and reliable COD sensor was designed and fabricated by MEMS, and it provided a core sensor component for construction of an online water environment monitoring network to meet the substantial demand for COD sensors in the Internet of Things (IOT) era.