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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 24 (2002), Issue 4, Pages 105-110

Design and development of a multichannel potentiometer for monitoring an electrode array and its application in flow analysis

1Instituto de Química, UNICAMP, CP 6154, Campinas CEP 13083-970, Brazil
2CEQUP, Departamento de Química-Física, Faculdade de Farmácia, Porto, Portugal

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


A versatile potentiometer that works with electrode arrays in flow injection and/or monosegmented flow systems is described. The potentiometer is controlled by a microcomputer that allows individual, sequential multiplexed or random accesses to eight electrodes while employing only one reference electrode. The instrument was demonstrated by monitoring an array of seven flow-through ion-selective electrodes for Ag+ and for three electrodes for Cl-, Ca2+ and K+. The figures of merit of the individual and multiplexed (summed) readings of the electrode array were compared. The absolute standard deviation of the measurements made by summing the potential of two or more electrodes was maintained constant, thus improving the precision of the measurements. This result shows that an attempt to combine the signals of the electrodes to produce a more intense signal in the Hadamard strategy is feasible and accompanied by a proportional improvement in the precision of individual measurements. The preliminary tests suggest that the system can allow for 270 determinations per hour, with a linear range from 1.0×102 to 1.0×104 mol l-1 for the three di¡erent analytes. Detection limits were estimated as 3.1×105 , 3.0×106 and 1.0×105 mol l-1 for Cl-, Ca2+ and K+, respectively.