Rapid and Direct Determination of Diffusion Coefficients Using Microelectrode Arrays
by Moldenhauer, J.; Meier, M.; Paul, D. W.
The sensitivity of amperometric sensors is typically set by the rate diffusion of the analyte to the electrode surface, so determining diffusion coefficients in various electrolyte solutions is of fundamental interest. It has been theoretically shown and verified that diffusion coefficients of electrochemically generated analytes can be determined using electrochemical time of flight (ETOF), a method that uses an electrochemical array in which one electrode generates a Red/Ox species, and measures the analyte diffusion times to collecting electrodes of differing distances from a stationary generator. ETOF has the potential to greatly simplify the determination of diffusion coefficients as the analyte concentration, the electroactive area, the solution viscosity, and the electron transfer kinetics can remain unknown. Here we demonstrate an alternative data treatment for ETOF in which the electrochemical flight time is measured for a series of different Red/Ox species of known diffusion coefficients at a single distance. We show this a valid application of a method that has existed for almost 30 years, by determining diffusion coefficients for ruthenium (II) hexamine, and diffusion coefficients in solutions of increased viscosity.