development of electrocatalytic materials for selective gasotransmitter detection

Open Access
Pander, James Earl
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jason Alan Bennett, Thesis Supervisor
  • Alan John Jircitano, Honors Advisor
  • electrochemistry
  • gasotransmitter detection
Gasotransmitters are endogenously produced, biologically important gas molecules with similar properties and physiological roles. Accurate detection of these molecules would aid in elucidating the mechanism of these physiological processes. While electrochemical detection is attractive due to speed, accuracy, and cost, there are significant issues regarding the selectivity of current sensor materials. Specifically, gasotransmitter molecules (such as CO, NO, and H2S) are all oxidized at ~700 mV due to kinetic limitations of the oxidation reactions. This means that accurate detection of the concentration of one analyte using standard electrode materials is impossible. One way to overcome this challenge is to modify the electrode surface with a suitable electrocatalytic material that will exhibit selectivity for one analyte over the other gasotransmitters present. Our research group has initiated projects focused on developing electrocatalytic materials capable of performing such functions. To our knowledge, we are one of only a few groups with this objective. Common electrocatalysts include oxide layers and metalloporphyrin layers which can be easily electrodeposited on the working electrode surface. This thesis will report on the pioneering research that has led to the establishment of two separate projects intent on developing electrocatalysts for the selective detection of either H2S or CO.