Quality control criteria for solid-contact, solvent polymeric membrane ion-selective electrodes


After a long history and conflicting views, solid-contact (SC) solvent polymeric membrane ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) emerged as reliable potentometric-sensing devices with unique advantages. From the large variety of proposed SCs inherently conductive polymers emerged as the materials of choice. In our view, the most attractive feature of SC ISEs is their compatibility with thin- and thick-film microfabrication technologies that can provide cheap, mass-produced sensors and sensor arrays that can be integrated with the measuring, data acquisition, and control electronics in a straightforward way. However, despite the impressive properties of certain SC electrodes and their potential advantages, they remained primarily in the research laboratories. To make the jump from the research laboratories into commercial devices, it would be essential to prove that miniaturized SC ISEs can indeed match or surpass the performance characteristics of the conventional, liquid-contact macroelectrodes. In addition, it would be important to settle on the quality control criteria and testing protocols for assessing the performance characteristics of SC electrodes. It could help in interpreting the sometimes-inconsistent experimental data. Once cheap, miniaturized, SC ISEs will mach the performance characteristics of macroscopic-size electrodes, it is expected to have an important impact in a variety of applications requiring robust, maintenance-free, or single-use ISEs, e.g., in homecare or bedside diagnostics, environmental analysis, and quality control assessment. In addition, reliable SC ISEs are expected to revitalize the field of ion-selective field effect transistors and open new possibilities in combination with nanowire-based devices. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.

Publication Title

Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry