19 November 2012 Spectroelectrochemistry as a strategy for improving selectivity of sensors for security and defense applications
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Spectroelectrochemistry provides improved selectivity for sensors by electrochemically modulating the optical signal associated with the analyte. The sensor consists of an optically transparent electrode (OTE) coated with a film that preconcentrates the target analyte. The OTE functions as an optical waveguide for attenuated total reflectance (ATR) spectroscopy, which detects the analyte by absorption. Alternatively, the OTE can serve as the excitation light for fluorescence detection, which is generally more sensitive than absorption. The analyte partitions into the film, undergoes an electrochemical redox reaction at the OTE surface, and absorbs or emits light in its oxidized or reduced state. The change in the optical response associated with electrochemical oxidation or reduction at the OTE is used to quantify the analyte. Absorption sensors for metal ion complexes such as [Fe(CN)6]4- and [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and fluorescence sensors for [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon 1-hydroxypyrene have been developed. The sensor concept has been extended to binding assays for a protein using avidin–biotin and 17β-estradiol–anti-estradiol antibodies. The sensor has been demonstrated to measure metal complexes in complex samples such as nuclear waste and natural water. This sensor has qualities needed for security and defense applications that require a high level of selectivity and good detection limits for target analytes in complex samples. Quickly monitoring and designating intent of a nuclear program by measuring the Ru/Tc fission product ratio is such an application.
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William R. Heineman, Carl J. Seliskar, Laura K. Morris, Samuel A. Bryan, "Spectroelectrochemistry as a strategy for improving selectivity of sensors for security and defense applications", Proc. SPIE 8545, Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology IX, 854509 (19 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.965308; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.965308

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