Solid state pH, Cl sensor is ‘must have’, claim researchers

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Research centre imec, along with the Holst Centre, has unveiled a miniaturised sensor that can determine pH and chloride levels in fluids simultaneously. According to the partners, this is a ‘must have’ in applications ranging from environmental monitoring to personalised healthcare.

“The common issue with [sensors based on ion selective membranes] is the leaching of ions from the internal electrolyte, causing the sensor to drift over time,” said Marcel Zevenbergen, senior researcher at imec/Holst Centre. “To suppress this, we designed and fabricated a reference electrode with a microfluidic channel as the junction and combined it with solid-state iridium oxide and silver chloride electrodes fabricated on a silicon substrate, as indicating electrodes for pH and Cl- respectively.”

According to Zevenbergen, tests showed the sensor offered a sensitivity, accuracy and response time equal or better than existing solutions.

John Baekelmans, managing director of imec in The Netherlands, added: “This multi-ion sensor is one in a series that Holst Centre is currently developing with its partners. For each sensor, the aim is to leapfrog the current performance of state-of-the-art sensors in a mass-producible, wireless, energy optimised and miniaturised package.”