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Electrochemistry in an Acoustically Levitated Drop

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2013, 00:00 by Edward T. Chainani, Khanh T. Ngo, Alexander Scheeline
Levitated drops show potential as microreactors, especially when radicals are present as reactants or products. Solid/liquid interfaces are absent or minimized, avoiding adsorption and interfacial reaction of conventional microfluidics. We report amperometric detection in an acoustically levitated drop with simultaneous ballistic addition of reactant. A gold microelectrode sensor was fabricated with a lithographic process; active electrode area was defined by a photosensitive polyimide mask. The microdisk gold working electrode of radius 19 μm was characterized using ferrocenemethanol in aqueous buffer. Using cyclic voltammetry, the electrochemically active surface area was estimated by combining a recessed microdisk electrode model with the Randles–Sevcik equation. Computer-controlled ballistic introduction of reactant droplets into the levitated drop was developed. Chronoamperometric measurements of ferrocyanide added ballistically demonstrate electrochemical monitoring using the microfabricated electrode in a levitated drop. Although concentration increases with time due to drop evaporation, the extent of concentration is predictable with a linear evaporation model. Comparison of diffusion-limited currents in pendant and levitated drops show that convection arising from acoustic levitation causes an enhancement of diffusion-limited current on the order of 16%.

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