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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 276896, 8 pages
Research Article

Potentiometric Response Characteristics of Membrane-Based Cs+-Selective Electrodes Containing Ionophore-Functionalized Polymeric Microspheres

1Chemistry Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
2Radiochemical Analysis Group, Chemical & Physical Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354, USA

Received 22 October 2010; Accepted 6 December 2010

Academic Editor: Miloslav Pravda

Copyright © 2011 Shane Peper and Chad Gonczy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cs+-selective solvent polymeric membrane-based ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) were developed by doping ethylene glycol-functionalized cross-linked polystyrene microspheres (P-EG) into a plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) matrix containing sodium tetrakis-(3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl) borate (TFPB) as the ion exchanger. A systematic study examining the effects of the membrane plasticizers bis(2-ethylhexyl) sebacate (DOS), 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether (NPOE), and 2-fluorophenyl nitrophenyl ether (FPNPE) on the potentiometric response and selectivity of the corresponding electrodes was performed. Under certain conditions, P-EG-based ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) containing TFPB and plasticized with NPOE exhibited a super-Nernstian response between 1×103 and 1×104 M Cs+, a response characteristic not observed in analogous membranes plasticized with either DOS or FPNPE. Additionally, the performance of P-EG-based ISEs was compared to electrodes based on two mobile ionophores, a neutral lipophilic ethylene glycol derivative (ethylene glycol monooctadecyl ether (U-EG)) and a charged metallacarborane ionophore, sodium bis(dicarbollyl)cobaltate(III) (CC). In general, P-EG-based electrodes plasticized with FPNPE yielded the best performance, with a linear range from 10-1–10-5 M Cs+, a conventional lower detection limit of 8.1×106 M Cs+, and a response slope of 57.7 mV/decade. The pH response of P-EG ISEs containing TFPB was evaluated for membranes plasticized with either NPOE or FPNPE. In both cases, the electrodes remained stable throughout the pH range 3–12, with only slight proton interference observed below pH 3.