Poly(3-octylthiophene) as solid contact for ion-selective electrodes: contradictions and possibilities


The hydrophobic conductive polymer, poly(3-octylthiophene) (POT), is considered as uniquely suited to be used as an ion-to-electron transducer in solid contact (SC) ion-selective electrodes (ISEs). However, the reports on the performance characteristics of POT-based SC ISEs are quite conflicting. In this study, the potential sources of the contradicting results on the ambiguous drift and poor potential reproducibility of POT-based ISEs are compiled, and different approaches to minimize the drift and the differences in the standard potentials of POT-based SC ISEs are shown. To set the potential of the POT film, it has been loaded with a 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ/TCNQ·−) redox couple. An approximately 1:1 TCNQ/TCNQ·−ratio in the POT film has been achieved through potentiostatic control of the potential of the redox couple-loaded conductive polymer. It is hypothesized that once the POT film has a stable, highly reproducible redox potential, it will provide similarly stable and reproducible interfacial potentials between the POT film and the electron-conducting substrate and result in SC ISEs with excellent reproducibility and potential stability. Towards this goal, the potentials of Au, GC, and Pt electrodes with drop-cast POT film coatings were recorded in KCl solutions as a function of time. Some of the POT films were loaded with TCNQ and coated with a K+-selective membrane. The improvement in the potential stabilities and sensor-to-sensor reproducibility as a consequence of the incorporation of TCNQ in the POT film and the potentiostatic control of the TCNQ/TCNQ·−ratio is reported.

Publication Title

Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry