CE42 - Capteurs, instrumentation

Sampled-current voltammetry on an electrode array for metallic trace elements detection in water – EASCVsens

Submission summary

Metallic trace elements are pollutants that are present in water naturally or because of mining, agriculture and industry. They are toxic even at trace level and so reliable analytical methods able to measure them on site are necessary. The most conventional methods used to quantify them are relatively expensive and generally require long analysis time associated with the difficulties to perform field analyses. Electrochemical methods using specific electrodes, as those based on ligands, are a low-cost and more and more credible alternative since they are fast and could easily be miniaturized to achieve portable sensors.
The final and applied goal of the project is the simplification of the metallic trace elements analysis in natural environment and so the ability to increase the amount of data for a given budget. It is intended to the achievement of an electrochemical analytical system that is fast and transportable allowing the selective analysis of metallic elements (Pb2+, Hg2+, Cd2+) at trace level (10-9-10-8 mol L-1) in aqueous medium (see and rivers) using recent advances in portable electrochemical analysis and surface functionnalization. In this active research field, the project combines original fundamental and applied aspects for the development of such sensors using i) a new concept of device based on sampled-current voltammetry performed on an electrode array (EASCV) allowing the renewal of the electrode surface and of the solution in the proximity of the electrode during the analysis. Since the data acquisition, that does not require the use of a potential ramp, is simplified, the device can be portable. ii) a good control of the functionalization process to introduce specific receptors (Strategy based on the electrografting of aryldiazonium associated to protection-deprotection steps). The adaptation of the electrochemical system based on EASCV to modified electrodes will be performed for the first time in this project. An improvement of the electrochemical response compared with a classical analysis performed on a single electrode is expected since the electrochemical signal on each electrode of the array is independent of the others.
Using the combined expertise of the four partners, we will achieve an efficient and cost-effective analytical tool by the covalent immobilization of specific receptors on electrode array associated with anodic stripping EASCV analysis. The development of the sensors for real conditions and their evaluations will be a major part in the project that will be performed according to the following tasks.
1) An electrode array compatible with EASCV will be made and modified by a well-controlled functionnalization process to introduce receptors specific to each ion.
2) The optimization of the analytical conditions for metallic trace elements detection by sampled current voltammetry on a modified electrode array will be performed with test solutions. The recycling ability of the sensor will be evaluated.
3) The performances of the sensor using simple matrices and a laboratory multipotentiostat will be established. The interferences and the ability of the sensor to work in complex medium will be assessed.
4) An important point will be the validation of the transportable electroanalytical system dedicated to EASCV. This step will lead to the component validation in laboratory environment.
5) The last step will be dedicated to the validation of the electroanalytical technology in relevant environment. The objective is a better knowledge of the constraints linked to the implementation of the analytical system on real sites.

Project coordinator


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


SATIE Laboratoire des Systèmes et Applications des Technologies de l'Information et de l'Energie
BRGM Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières

Help of the ANR 545,765 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2019 - 42 Months

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