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Visible Light Activated Ion Sensing Using a Photoacid Polymer for Calcium Detection

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Valentine K. Johns, Parth K. Patel, Shelly Hassett, Percy Calvo-Marzal, Yu Qin, Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torres
Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (13), pp 6184–6187

Presented here is a sensing membrane consisting of a modified merocyanine photoacid polymer and a calcium ionophore in plasticized poly(vinyl chloride). This membrane is shown to actively exchange protons with calcium ions when switched ON after illumination at 470 nm, and the exchange can be followed by UV–vis spectroscopy. The sensing membrane shows no response in the ON state when calcium ions are absent. The limit of detection of the sensor is 5.0 × 10–4 M with an upper detection limit of 1.0 M. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time the use of a visible light activated, lipophilic photoacid polymer in an ion-sensing membrane for calcium ions, which highly discriminates potassium, sodium, and magnesium ions.

Amplified potentiometric transduction of DNA hybridization using ion-loaded liposomes

AnalystJournal Article
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Wu, J., Clawson, C., Galik. M., Walter, A., Flechsig, G. U., Bakker, E.*, Zhang, L., Wang, J
Analyst, 2010, 135, 1618-1623

Amplified potentiometric transduction of DNA hybridization based on using liposome ‘nanocarriers’ loaded with the signaling ions is reported. The liposome-amplified potentiometric bioassay involved the duplex formation, followed by the capture of calcium-loaded liposomes, asurfactant-induced release and highly-sensitive measurements of the calcium signaling ions using a Ca2+ ion-selective electrode (ISE). The high loading yield of nearly one million signaling ions per liposome leads to sub-fmol DNA detection limits. Factors affecting the ion encapsulation efficiency and signal amplification are evaluated and discussed. The influence of the surfactant lysing agent is also examined. Such use of ‘green’ calcium signaling ions addresses the inherent toxicity of Agand CdS nanoparticle tags used in previous potentiometric bioassays. The new strategy was applied for the detection of low levels of E. coli bacteria. It could be readily extended to trace measurements of other important biomolecules in connection to different biorecognition events. The attractive analytical performance makes liposomes a useful addition to the armory of potentiometric bioassays.

High-Temperature Potentiometry: Modulated Response of Ion-Selective Electrodes during Heat Pulses

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Thammakhet, Ch., Galik, M., Calvo-Marzal, P., Wu, J., Bakker E., Flechsig, G. U., Wang, J
Anal. Chem., 2009, 81, 10290-10294

The concept of locally heated polymeric membrane potentiometric sensors is introduced here for the first time. This is accomplished in an all solid state sensor configuration, utilizing poly(3-octylthiophene) as the intermediate layer between the ion-selective membrane and underlying substrate that integrates the heating circuitry. Temperature pulse potentiometry (TPP) gives convenient peak-shaped analytical signals and affords an additional dimension with these sensors. Numerous advances are envisioned that will benefit the field. The heating step is shown to give an increase in the slope of the copper-selective electrode from 31 to 43 mV per 10-fold activity change, with a reproducibility of the heated potential pulses of 1% at 10 μM copper levels and a potential drift of 0.2 mV/h. Importantly, the magnitude of the potential pulse upon heating the electrode changes as a function of the copper activity, suggesting an attractive way for differential measurement of these devices. The heat pulse is also shown to decrease the detection limit by half an order of magnitude.

Potentiometric Detection of DNA Hybridization using Enzyme-Induced Metallization and a Silver Ion Selective Electrode

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Wu, J., Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Galik, M., Thammakhet, Ch., Haake, D., Wang, J.
Anal. Chem.,2009, 81, 10007-10012

Here, we report on a highly sensitive potentiometric detection of DNA hybridization. The new assay uses a low-volume solid-contact silver ion-selective electrode (Ag+-ISE) to monitor the depletion of silver ions induced by the biocatalytic reaction of the alkaline-phosphatase enzyme tag. The resultant potential change of the Ag+-ISE, thus, serves as the hybridization signal. Factors affecting the potentiometric hybridization response have been optimized to offer a detection limit of 50 fM (0.2 amol) DNA target. The new potentiometric assay was applied successfully to the monitoring of the 16S rRNA of E. coli pathogenic bacteria to achieve a low detection limit of 10 CFU in the 4 μL sample. Such potentiometric transduction of biocatalytically induced metallization processess holds great promise for monitoring various bioaffinity assays involving common enzyme tags.

An indium tin oxide electrode modified with gold nanorods for use in potential-controlled surface plasmon resonance studies

Journal ArticleMicrochimica Acta
Emily C. Heider, Khang Trieu, Victor M. Diaz, Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torres, Andres D. Campiglia, Steven J. Duranceau
Microchimica Acta.,2013, 180(11-12), pp1013-1020

The modification of electrodes with gold nanoparticles results in an increased electrode surface area, enhanced mass transport, and improved catalytic properties. We have extended this approach to indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes to obtain optically transparent gold nanorod-modified electrodes which display enhanced electrochemical capabilities and have the additional advantage of showing a tunable surface plasmon resonance. The procedures for attaining high surface coverage (15 gold nanorods per square µm) of such electrodes were optimized, and the potential-dependent surface plasmon resonance was studied under controlled electrical potential. In an exemplary sensor application, we demonstrate the detection of mercury via potential-dependent formation of an Au-Hg amalgam

Tuning the Equilibrium Response Time of Meta-Stable Photoacids in Ion-Sensors by Appropriate Functionalization

ElectroanalysisJournal Article
Parth K. Patel, Valentine K. Johns, Dawn M. Mills, James E. Boone, Percy Calvo-Marzal, Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torres
Electroanalysis,2015, 27(3), pp 677-683

Herein, we present different functionalized meta-stable photoacids in ion-sensors to tune the equilibrium response time. As a proof of concept, two new meta-stable photoacids were synthesized, one contains an ether group and the other has an ester functional group. These functionalized meta-stable photoacids were elucidated in solution of ethanol and in ion-sensing films via pH and kinetic studies. In comparison from our previous work, the response time was reduced from hours to minutes by utilizing an ether functional group in the meta-stable photoacid.

Use of self-plasticizing EVA membrane for potentiometric anion detection

Journal ArticleTalanta
Karin Yanet C Torresa, Carlos Alexandre B Garciab, Julio Cesar B Fernandesa, Graciliano de Oliveira Netoc, Lauro T Kubota
Talanta, 2001,53(4), pp 807-814

In this work, five different types of membranes were developed responsible to anion-selective electrodes. The membranes were based on tri-caprylyl-trimethyl-ammonium chloride (Aliquat-336S) supported on poly(ethylene-co-vinyl-acetate) copolymer (EVA). The sensors were prepared by solubilizing the copolymer with the appropriate exchanger in chloroform, without using of any plasticizers. The ion-selective electrodes prepared using these membranes show the utility for anions determinations in the concentration range between 10−5 and 10−1 mol l−1 in the steady-state. The membrane performance was also evaluated in FIA system using tubular electrode for salicylate and iodide. In FIA system, the electrode exhibited nernstian response for salicylate in the concentration range of 2.5×10−3 and 1.0×10−1, while for iodide from 5.0×10−4 up to 1.0×10−1 mol l−1. The systems were employed for the salicylate and iodide determination in pharmaceutical samples obtaining a relative deviation of 1.6%, when compared to the reference method.

Determination of reduced glutathione using an amperometric carbon paste electrode chemically modified with TTF–TCNQ

Journal ArticleSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Percy Calvo-Marzala, Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torresa, Nelci Fenalti Höehrb, Graciliano de Oliveira Netoa, Lauro T. Kubota
Sens. Actuators, B, 2004,100(3), pp 333-340

The development of an amperometric sensor for the determination of reduced glutathione (GSH) is described. The sensor is based on tetrathiafulvalene–tetracyanoquinodimethane (TTF–TCNQ) incorporated into the graphite powder/Nujol oil matrix. The electrooxidation of GSH was monitored amperometrically at 200 mV versus SCE (saturated calomel electrode). The amperometric response of the sensor was linearly proportional to the GSH concentration between 20 and 300 μmol l−1, in 0.1 mol l−1phosphate buffer (pH 8.0), containing 0.1 mol l−1 KCl and 0.5 mmol l−1 Na2H2EDTA, as supporting electrolyte.

The detection limit, considering signal/noise ratio equal three, was 4.2 μmol l−1 for GSH and the repeatability obtained as relative standard deviation was of 5.1% for a series of 10 successive measurements.

Simultaneous determination of calcium and potassium in coconut water by a flow-injection method with tubular potentiometric sensors

Journal ArticleJournal of Food Composition and Analysis
Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torres, Lauro T. Kubota
J. Food Comp. Anal.,2006, 19(2-3), pp 225-230

In the present work, a simultaneous determination of calcium and potassium in coconut water samples using a flow-injection system with tubular ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) in series is described. The samples were injected into a 0.1 mol L−1 HEPES (pH=6.0) carrier solution, using an injection volume of 100 μL and a flow of 2.0 mL min−1 in the FIA system. The electrodes developed exhibited nernstian response for calcium and potassium in the concentration range between 1.0×10−5 and 1.0×10−1 mol L−1 with detection limits of 5.6×10−6 mol L−1 for calcium and 9.5×10−6 mol L−1 for potassium. And no significant interference between both ions was observed. The flow-injection analysis (FIA) system with tubular ISEs was suitable for the simultaneous calcium and potassium on-line monitoring. The determination of potassium presented good results when compared to the reference method. And the recovery results were 95±1% for calcium and 102±2% for potassium, showing a good evidence of the accuracy of the method.

Modern directions for potentiometric sensors.

Journal ArticleJournal of the Brazilian Chemical Society
Bakker E., Chumbimuni-Torres K. Y
J. Braz. Chem. Soc. 2008 19(4), pp 612-629

This paper gives an overview of the newest developments of polymeric membrane ion-selective electrodes. A short essence of the underlying theory is given, emphasizing how the electromotive force may be used to assess binding constants of the ionophore, and how the selectivity and detection limit are related to the basic membrane processes. The recent developments in lowering the detection limits of ISEs are described, including recent approaches of developing all solid state ISEs, and breakthroughs in detecting ultra-small quantities of ions at low concentrations. These developments have paved the way to use potentiometric sensors as in ultra-sensitive affinity bioanalysis in conjunction with nanoparticle labels. Recent results establish that potentiometry compares favorably to electrochemical stripping analysis. Other new developments with ion-selective electrodes are also described, including the concept of backside calibration potentiometry, controlled current coulometry, pulsed chronopotentiometry, and localized flash titration with ion-selective membranes to design sensors for the direct detection of total acidity without net sample perturbation. These developments have further opened the field for exciting new possibilities and applications.

Adsorption of Proteins to thin-films of PDMS and its effect on the adhesion of human endothelial cells

Journal ArticleRSC Advances
Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torres, Ramon E. Coronado, Adelphe M. Mfuh, Carlos Castro-Guerrero, Maria Fernanda Silva, George R. Negrete, Rena Biziosb, Carlos D. Garcia
RSC Advances,2011, 1, pp 706-714

This paper describes a simple and inexpensive procedure to produce thin-films of poly(dimethylsiloxane). Such films were characterized by a variety of techniques (ellipsometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, atomic force microscopy, and goniometry) and used to investigate the adsorption kinetics of three model proteins (fibrinogen, collagen type-I, and bovine serum albumin) under different conditions. The information collected from the protein adsorption studies was then used to investigate the adhesion of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells. The results of these studies suggest that these films can be used to model the surface properties of microdevices fabricated with commercial PDMS. Moreover, the paper provides guidelines to efficiently attach cells in BioMEMS devices.

Application of Blind Source Separation Methods to Ion-Selective Electrode Arrays in Flow-Injection Analysis

IEEE Sensors JournalJournal Article
Duarte L. T., Romano J. M. T., Juttenm S., Chumbimuni-Torres K. Y., Kubota L. T.
IEEE Sensors J, 2014, 14(7), 2228-2229

As shown recently, the interference problem typical of ion-selective electrodes can be dealt with via smart arrays adjusted by blind source separation methods. In this letter, we resume this study and show that such an approach can be applied even when faced with a limited number of samples acquired through flow-injection analysis.

Visible Light-Induced Ion-Selective Optodes based on Metastable Photoacid for Cation Detection

AnalystJournal Article
Parth K. Patel, Karin Chumbimuni-Torres

A new platform of ion-selective optode is presented here to detect cations under thermodynamic equilibrium via ratiometric analysis. This novel platform utilizes a ‘one of a kind’ visibile light-induced metastable photoacid as a reference ion indicator to achieve activatable and controllable sensors. These ion-selective optodes were studied in terms of its stability, sensitivity, selectivity, and theoretical aspects.

Nanomolar Detection Limits of Cd2+, Ag+, and K+ Using Paper-Strip Ion-Selective Electrodes

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Samantha T. Mensah , Yessenia Gonzalez , Percy Calvo-Marzal , Karin Y. Chumbimuni-Torres
Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (15), pp 7269–7273

Paper-based ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) are simple, flexible, and cost-efficient in comparison to conventional solid-contact ISEs. Yet, paper-based ISEs have poor limits of detection (in the micromolar range) relative to conventional solid-contact ISEs. Here we describe the construction and optimization of ISEs based on commercially available filter paper modified with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), sputtered gold, and conductive polymer poly(3-octylthiophene) to support an ion-selective membrane. The ion-selective membrane presented here is based on the copolymer methyl methacrylate-decyl methacrylate (MMA-DMA). The copolymer MMA-DMA is highly water-repellent and has a low coefficient of diffusion, which makes it particularly suitable for the creation of sensors with high performance in reaching low limits of detection. Three different configurations of the electrodes have been characterized by using contact angle surface analysis, oxygen influence, and testing for the presence of a water layer. Paper-strip ISEs for cadmium, silver, and potassium ions were developed with groundbreaking limits of detection of 1.2, 25.1, and 11.0 nM, respectively. In addition to such low limits of detection, paper-strip ISEs display high selectivity for their ion of interest and high reproducibility.

Determination of glutathione in hemolysed erythrocyte with amperometric sensor based on TTF-TCNQ

Clinica Chimica ActaJournal Article
Calvo-Marzal P, Chumbimuni-Torres KY, Höehr NF, Kubota LT
Clin Chim Acta., 2006, 371(1-2), pp152-158

GSH has a relevant role in human metabolism as an indicator of disease risks. An amperometric sensor for glutathione (GSH) determination is described as an alternative method featuring simple construction procedure and short time analysis.
The developed sensor was used to determine glutathione at low potential using a TTF-TCNQ complex.
The sensor exhibits a linear response range from 5 to 340 micromol/l under applied potential of 200 mV vs. SCE. The sensitivity and detection limit were 90.1 microA l/mmol cm(2) and 0.3 micromol/l, respectively.
When the sensor was tested in hemolysed erythrocyte samples for GSH determination, a good correlation in results was observed between the sensor and the spectrophotometric method. The sensor showed recovery values between 98% and 102%.

Potentiometric biosensing of proteins with ultrasensitive ion-selective microelectrodes and nanoparticles labels

Journal ArticleJournal of the American Chemical Society
Chumbimuni-Torres K. Y.,Dai Z., Rubinova N., Xiang Y., Prestch E., Wang J., Bakker E.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, pp13676-13677

We report here for the first time on the use of potentiometry for ultrasensitive nanoparticle-based detection of protein interactions. A silver ion-selective microelectrode is used to detect silver ions oxidatively released from silver enlarged gold nanoparticle labels in a sandwich immunoassay. Since potentiometry is expected to largely maintain its analytical characteristics upon reducing the sample volume, it is anticipated that this approach may form the basis for bioassays with attractive detection limits.

Solid contact potentiometric sensors for trace level measurements

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Rubinova, N., Radu, A., Kubota, L., Bakker, E.
Anal. Chem. 78, 2006, pp1318-1322.

A simple procedure for the development of a range of polymeric ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) with low detection limits is presented. The electrodes were prepared by using a plasticizer-free methyl methacrylate−decyl methacrylate copolymer as membrane matrix and poly(3-octylthiophene) as intermediate layer deposited by solvent casting on gold sputtered copper electrodes as a solid inner contact. Five different electrodes were developed for Ag+, Pb2+, Ca2+, K+, and I-, with detection limits mostly in the nanomolar range. In this work, the lowest detection limits reported thus far with solid contact ISEs for the detection of silver (2.0 × 10-9M), potassium (10-7 M), and iodide (10-8 M) are presented. The developed electrodes exhibited a good response time and excellent reproducibility.

Solid-contact potentiometric polymer membrane microelectrodes for the detection of silver ions at the femtomole level

Journal ArticleSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Rubinova, N., Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Bakker, E.
Sensor and Actuators B 121, pp135-141

In recent years, ion-selective electrodes based on polymer membranes have been shown to exhibit detection limits that are often in the nanomolar concentration range, and thus drastically lower than traditionally accepted. Since potentiometry is less dependent on scaling laws that other established analytical techniques, their performance in confined sample volumes is explored here. Solid-contact silver-selective microelectrodes, with a sodium-selective microelectrode as a reference, were inserted into a micropipette tip used as a 50-μl sample. The observed potential stabilities, reproducibilities and detection limits were attractive and largely matched that for large 100-ml samples. This should pave the way for further experiments to detecting ultra-small total ion concentrations by potentiometry, especially when used as a transducer after an amplification step in bioanalysis.

Recent advances and new perspectives of ion-selective electrodes

Journal ArticleQuímica Nova
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Calvo-Marzal P., Kubota, L
Quim. Nova, 2006, 29(5), pp1094-1100

This paper describes the recent progress in the development of polymeric membranes for ion-selective electrodes. The importance of knowing the mechanism of potential development in membranes for ion-selective electrodes to reach lower detection limits and improve selectivity are discussed. Recent advances and future trends of research on ion-selective electrodes are also reported.

Aptamer-based potentiometric measurements of proteins using ion-selective microelectrodes

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Numnuam, A., Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Xiang, Y., Bash, R., Thavarungkul, P., Kanatharana, P., Pretsch, E., Wang, J., Bakker, E
Anal. Chem., 2008, 80 (3), pp 707–712

We here report on the first example of an aptamer-based potentiometric sandwich assay of proteins. The measurements are based on CdS quantum dot labels of the secondary aptamer, which were determined with a novel solid-contact Cd2+-selective polymer membrane electrode after dissolution with hydrogen peroxide. The electrode exhibited cadmium ion detection limits of 100 pM in 100 mL samples and of 1 nM in 200 μL microwells, using a calcium-selective electrode as a pseudoreference electrode. As a prototype example, thrombin was measured in 200 μL samples with a lower detection limit of 0.14 nM corresponding to 28 fmol of analyte. The results show great promise for the potentiometric determination of proteins at very low concentrations in microliter samples.

Potentiometric detection of DNA hybridization

Journal ArticleJournal of the American Chemical Society
Numnuam, A., Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Xiang, Y., Bash, R., Thavarungkul, P., Kanatharana, P., Pretsch, E., Wang, J., Bakker, E
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130 (2), pp 410–411

The use of potentiometric microsensors is demonstrated here for the first time to detect DNA hybridization. Cadmium sulfide nanocrystal labels bound on a secondary oligonucleotide are dissolved and detected with cadmium-selective microelectrodes exhibiting DNA detectionlimits of ca. 2 fmol in a 200 μL sample.

Electrochemical sample matrix elimination for trace level potentiometric detection with polymeric membrane ion-selective electrodes

Journal ArticleJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Calvo-Marzal, P., Wang, J., Bakker, E
Anal. Chem., 2008, 80 (15), pp 6114–6118

Potentiometric sensors are today sufficiently well understood and optimized to reach ultratrace level (subnanomolar) detection limits for numerous ions. In many cases of practical relevance, however, a high electrolyte background hampers the attainable detection limits. A particularly difficult sample matrix for potentiometric detection is seawater, where the high saline concentration forms a major interfering background and reduces the activity of most trace metals by complexation. This paper describes for the first time a hyphenated system for the online electrochemically modulated preconcentration and matrix elimination of trace metals, combined with a downstream potentiometric detection with solid contact polymeric membrane ion-selective microelectrodes. Following the preconcentration at the bismuth-coated electrode, the deposited metals are oxidized and released to a medium favorable to potentiometric detection, in this case calcium nitrate. Matrix interferences arising from the saline sample medium are thus circumvented. This concept is successfully evaluated with cadmium as a model trace element and offers potentiometric detection down to low parts per billion levels in samples containing 0.5 M NaCl background electrolyte.

Nanoparticle-induced potentiometric biosensing of NADH at copper ion-selective electrodes

AnalystJournal Article
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Wang, J.
Analyst. 2009, 134(8), pp1614-7

We demonstrate the first example of using potentiometry at ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) for probing in real-time monitoring of biometallization processes. A copper ISE is used for real-time monitoring of the NADH-mediated reduction of copper in the presence of gold nanoparticle seeds. Such potentiometric detection of NADH is not susceptible to surface fouling common with analogous amperometric measurements of this co-factor. Biosensing of ethanol is illustrated in the presence of alcohol dehydrogenase and NAD(+), along with potentiometric detection of the NADH product at the copper ISE. The concept can be readily expanded to the monitoring of various biometallization processes in connection to different enzymatic transformations and ISE, and used for ultrasensitive detection of bioaffinity interactions in connection to common enzyme tags.

Real-time electrochemical monitoring of drug release from therapeutic nanoparticles

Journal ArticleJournal of Controlled Release
Mora, L., Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Clawson, C., Hernandez, L., Zhang, L., Wang, J.
J. Control. Release, 140(1), pp69-73

An electrochemical protocol for real-time monitoring of drug release kinetics from therapeutic nanoparticles (NPs) is described. The method is illustrated for repetitive square-wave voltammetric measurements of the reduction of doxorubicin released from liposomes at a glassy-carbon electrode. Such operation couples high sensitivity down to 20 nM doxorubicin with high speed and stability. It can thus monitor in real time the drug release from NP carriers, including continuous measurements in diluted serum. Such direct and continuous monitoring of the drug release kinetics from therapeutic NPs holds great promise for designing new drug delivery NPs with optimal drug release properties. These NPs can potentially be used to deliver many novel compounds such as marine-life derived drugs and hydrophobic drugs with limited water solubility that are usually difficult to be characterized by traditional analytical tools.

Comparison Between Potentiometric and Stripping Voltammetric Detection of Trace Metals: Measurements of Cadmium and Lead in the Presence of Thalium, Indium and Tin

ElectroanalysisJournal Article
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Calvo-Marzal, P., Wang, J.
Electroanalysis, 21, pp1939-1943.

Recent advances in ion-selective electrodes have pushed the detection limits of direct potentiometry to the nanomolar concentration range. Here we present a direct comparison of the sensitivity and selectivity of potentiometric and stripping-voltammetric measurements of cadmium and lead. While both techniques offer a similar sensitivity, the potentiometric method offers higher selectivity in the presence of excess of metal ions (e.g., thallium, tin) that commonly interfere in the stripping-voltammetric operation. Because of the complementary nature of the potentiometric and stripping-voltammetric methods, it is recommended that these techniques will be selected based on the specific analytical problem or used in parallel to provide additional analytical information.

Real-time probing of the growth dynamics of nanoparticles using potentiometric ion-selective electrodes

Electrochemistry CommunicationsJournal Article
Chumbimuni-Torres, K. Y., Bakker, E., Wang, J.
Electrochem. Commun., 11, pp1964-1967

This Communication demonstrates the ability of potentiometric ion-selective electrodes (ISE) to probe the growth dynamics of metal nanoparticles in real-time. The new monitoring capability is illustrated using a solid-contact silver ISE for monitoring the hydroquinone-induced precipitation of silver on gold nanoparticle seeds. Potential-time recordings obtained under different conditions are used to monitor the depletion of the silver ion during the nanoparticle formation and shed useful insights into the growth dynamics of the nanoparticles. Such potentiometric profiles correlate well with the analogous optical measurements. The new real-time electrochemical probing of the particle growth process reflects the direct, rapid and sensitive response of modern ISE to changes in the level of the precipitated metal ion from the bulk solution and holds considerable promise for probing the preparation of different nanoscale materials.