Case ID: M07-109P

Published: 2011-01-25 14:34:45

Last Updated: 1661889285


Inventor(s)

Joseph Wang
Aristotelis Dimitrakopoulos

Technology categories

Medical Diagnostics/SensorsPhysical Science

Licensing Contacts

Shen Yan
Director of Intellectual Property - PS
[email protected]

Electrochemical Detection of Silica Species

An inexpensive, miniaturized electrochemical silica detector
has been developed at Arizona State University for use in ultrapure water (UPW)
systems requiring silica concentrations much lower than 1 ppm. The semiconductor
industry is by far the largest user of UPW, but the burgeoning flat panel
display and bioscience industries are driving demand growth. This voltammetric
detection method competes directly with industry standard colorimetric systems,
which measure the absorbance of specific wavelengths of light by a distinct
solution. These systems require large volumes of expensive and sometimes
corrosive reagents such as Molybdate, Citric Acid and Amino Acid, whereas ASU?s
system requires molybdenum, chloranilic acid and acetate. Voltammetry involves
preconcentrating species of interest onto an electrode, then selectively
stripping each one with a voltage sweep. Analytes are identified by separate
spikes in current with very high sensitivity. The compact system can incorporate
the auxiliary, reference and working (sensing) electrodes on a single substrate.
The electrodes are fabricated with a screen printing process, and sputtered with
bismuth. They can be stored in a sealed package, quickly installed, and are
disposable, which adds to their convenience. Competitive pricing can
dramatically reduce periodic costs of ownership and create demand.

Benefits and Advantages


  • Bismuth is non-toxic and environmentally safe.
  • Replaces mercury film electrodes.
  • Inexpensive to manufacture (Pennies per sensor).
  • Cheap and simple electronics for data acquisition
    minimizes user interaction.

  • Auto-sampling and rapid analysis time.
  • Single step vs. multiple step sample preparation.
  • Expensive and corrosive reagents can be reduced or
    eliminated.

Potential Applications


  • Silica monitoring in Semiconductor or other
    microfabrication environments.


    • Inexpensive, hand-held silica monitors.
    • Multiple, in-line, flow-through cells to pinpoint
      sources of contamination.

    • Multiple streams with electrodes tailored to an array
      of analytes.

  • Bioscience processes such as enzyme determinations and
    trace metal or electrolyte analyses.

  • Flat-panel display manufacturing.
  • Pharmaceutical solvent monitoring.