Detection of phenolic compounds using impedance spectroscopy measurements
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Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) and layer-by-layer films (LbL) of a PPV (p-phenylenevinylene) derivative, an azo compound and tetrasulfonated phthalocyanines were successfully employed as transducers in an "electronic tongue" system for detecting trace levels of phenolic compounds in water. The choice of the materials was based on their distinct electrical natures, which enabled the array to establish a fingerprint of very similar liquids. Impedance spectroscopy measurements were taken in the frequency range from 10 Hz to 1 MHz, with the data analysed with principal component analysis (PCA). The sensing units were obtained from five-layer LB films of (poly[(2-methoxy-5-n-hexyloxy)-p-phenylenevinylene]), OC(1)OC(18)-PPV (poly(2-methoxy,5-(n-octadecyl)-p-phenylenevinylene)), DR (HEMA-co-DR13MA (poly-(hydroxyethylmethacrylate-co-[4'-[[2-(methacryloyloxy)-ethyl]ethylamino]-2-chloro-4-nitroazobenzene]))) and five-bilayer LbL films of tetrasulfonated metallic phthalocyanines deposited onto gold interdigitated electrodes. The sensors were immersed into phenol, 2-chloro-4-methoxyphenol, 2-chlorophenol and 3-chlorophenol (isomers) solutions at 1 x 10(-9) mol L(-1), with control experiments carried out in ultra pure water. Samples could be distinguished if the principal component analysis (PCA) plots were made with capacitance values taken at 10(3) Hz, which is promising for detection of trace amounts of phenolic pollutants in natural water.