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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 24, Number 1
BKCSDE 24(1)
January 20, 2003 

Effect of Surfactants on the Electrochemical Performance of Cation-Selective Membrane Electrodes
Hyun Joon Oh, Geun Sig Cha, Hakhyun Nam
Nonionic surfactant, Ion-selective electrode, Polymer matrix, Triton X-100
We examined the effect of polyether-type nonionic surfactants (Brij 35, Triton X-100, Tween 20 and Tween 80) on the potentiometric properties of sodium-, potassium- and calcium-selective membranes which are prepared with widely used ionophores and four kinds of polymer matrices [poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), polyurethane (PU), PVC/PU blend, and silicone rubber (SR)]. It was found that the PVC-based membranes, which provide the best performance among all other matrix-based membranes in the absence of nonionic surfactants, exhibited larger change in their potentiometric properties when nonionic surfactants are added to the sample solution. On the other hand, the sodium-selective SR-based membrane with calix[4]arene, potassium-selective PVC/PU- or SR-based membrane with valinomycin, and the calcium-selective SR-based membrane with ETH 1001 provide almost identical analytical performance in the presence and absence of Tween 20 or Tween 80 surfactants. The origin of nonionic surfactants effect was also investigated by interpreting the experimental results obtained with various matrices and ionophores. The results suggest that the nonionic surfactant extracted into the membrane phase unselectively form complexes with the primary and interfering ions, resulting in increased background potential and lower binding ability for the ionophore. Such effects should result in deteriorated detection limits, reduced response slopes and lower selectivity for the primary ions.
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