New Sensitive Sensors for Water Analysis
In the last 20 years, sensors have become an integral part of many areas of daily life. This development is also taking place in chemistry where sensor-based solutions are very important for problems in analysis. While conventional methods based on chromatography are a highly reliable expedient, they require expensive equipment and trained staff and are relatively time-consuming. In contrast, electrodes can be used on site and supply accurate results very quickly. Here at CEST, work is under way on taking the development of ion-selective electrodes (ISE) for water analysis to the next level in the funded “Watersense” project (NFB NÖ). In this work, electrodes are developed for pharmaceutical contaminants and their sensitivity subsequently enhanced so that even very low concentrations in real samples can be measured. As material for the electrodes, complexes from an ionophore and the analyte to be examined are used which are embedded in a (synthetic) matrix. After each system has been evaluated and characterized, an optimization is carried out which moves the detection limit into the nanomolar region so that real water samples can be directly analysed.