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Keywords:

  • analytical methods;
  • electrochemistry;
  • imprinting;
  • sensors;
  • thin films

Abstract

Sensitive layers based on conducting homopolymer [poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), denoted PEDOT] and copolymers [molecularly imprinted and non-imprinted poly(EDOT-co-3-thiophene acetic acid), denoted MICP and NICP, respectively] are electrosynthesized on gold substrates and used for the electrochemical detection of atrazine. These layers are characterized by cyclic voltammetry, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, optical profilemetry, and AFM microscopy in order to study the effect of the chemical functionalities and of the structural properties of these conducting polymers on the physical chemistry of the interaction with atrazine targets and with the aim to improve the sensitivity of the recognition process. In particular, due to the presence in their backbones of preshaped functionalized cavities which keep the molecular memory of the targets, MICP layers show remarkable sensitivity, a low detection limit (10−9 mol L−1), and a large linear range of detection (10−8 to 10−4 mol L−1), as demonstrated by square-wave voltammetry.