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Potentiometric in Situ Monitoring of Anions in the Synthesis of Copper and Silver Nanoparticles Using the Polyol Process

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journal contribution
posted on 22.12.2015, 16:05 by Jesse L. Carey, David R. Whitcomb, Suyue Chen, R. Lee Penn, Philippe Bühlmann
Potentiometric sensors, such as polymeric membrane, ion-selective electrodes (ISEs), have been used in the past to monitor a variety of chemical processes. However, the use of these sensors has traditionally been limited to aqueous solutions and moderate temperatures. Here we present an ISE with a high-capacity ion-exchange sensing membrane for measurements of nitrate and nitrite in the organic solvent propylene glycol at 150 °C. It is capable of continuously measuring under these conditions for over 180 h. We demonstrate the usefulness of this sensor by in situ monitoring of anion concentrations during the synthesis of copper and silver nanoparticles in propylene glycol using the polyol method. Ion chromatography and a colorimetric method were used to independently confirm anion concentrations measured in situ. In doing so, it was shown that in this reaction the co-ion nitrate is reduced to nitrite.

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