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The University of Southampton

Electrochemical sensing at oil-water interfaces Seminar

25 February 2020

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Nuria Garcia-Araez at .

Event details

Electrochemistry at liquid-liquid (oil-water) interfaces, or at the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (ITIES), provides us with a simple strategy for chemical and biochemical sensing. Detection of ions based on dynamic ion transfer electrochemistry at the ITIES is possible via simple or facilitated (e.g. with an ionophore) ion transfer reactions, with sensitivity and selectivity achieved via the measured current and the applied potential, respectively.

This lecture will introduce the concepts of electrochemistry at the ITIES and focus on two key areas of development: electrochemistry at micro- or nanoscale ITIES arrays, and applications to detection of substances of biological or environmental importance. Solid-state membranes have been perforated by laser ablation, silicon micromachining, and focused ion beam milling, in glass, silicon and silicon nitride, respectively. These porous membranes function as the support for the oil-water interface and provide an array of inlaid interfaces which can be characterised by ion-transfer electrochemistry. In terms of applications, the ITIES provides a simple strategy for the detection of target analytes, such as proteins, in a label-free manner. This detection is based on protein-anion complexation and adsorption at the interface. Finally, ion transfer electrochemistry can be applied to detection of environmental contaminants, with our preliminary work into the detection of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) showing that detection down to picomolar (parts per trillion) concetrations is achievable.


Speaker information

Professor Damien Arrigan, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin Institute for Functional Molecules and Interfaces, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia. Damien Arrigan is a Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. He studied as an undergraduate at Dublin City University (NIHE Dublin as it was then) and, after a two-year career in industrial biotechnology, undertook his PhD (1992) at the National University of Ireland, Cork, on electroanalysis with chemically modified electrodes. Following postdoctoral positions at the National Microelectronics Research Centre (Cork) and the University of Southampton, he was a lecturer in analytical chemistry at University of Salford. In 2001 he relocated to Tyndall National Institute, Cork, where he started to combine miniaturisation tools with electrochemistry for detection purposes and in 2009 he moved to Curtin University. Damien’s research interests encompass analytical chemistry and its boundaries with electrochemistry, especially the development of new sensing and detection methods and devices. Recent emphasis has been on exploration of the analytical opportunities afforded by electrochemistry at liquid-liquid (oil-water) interfaces, especially by miniaturisation of these interfaces for chemical and biochemical sensing. Current interests include nanopores and nanoscale electrochemistry, behaviour and detection of biological macromolecules and disease biomarkers, and the development of sensors to enhance water re-use technologies.

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