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Electrochemical Improvements Can Be Realized via Shortening the Length of Screen-Printed Electrochemical Platforms

Whittingham, Matthew J, Hurst, Nicholas J, Crapnell, Robert D, Garcia-Miranda Ferrari, Alejandro ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1797-1519, Blanco, Elias, Davies, Trevor J and Banks, Craig E (2021) Electrochemical Improvements Can Be Realized via Shortening the Length of Screen-Printed Electrochemical Platforms. Analytical Chemistry, 93 (49). pp. 16481-16488. ISSN 0003-2700

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Abstract

Screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) are ubiquitous within the field of electrochemistry and are commonplace within the arsenal of electrochemists. Their popularity stems from their reproducibility, versatility, and extremely low-cost production, allowing their utilization as single-shot electrodes and thus removing the need for tedious electrode pretreatments. Many SPE studies have explored changing the working electrode composition and/or size to benefit the researcher's specific applications. In this paper, we explore a critical parameter of SPEs that is often overlooked; namely, we explore changing the length of the SPE connections. We provide evidence of resistance changes through altering the connection length to the working electrode through theoretical calculations, multimeter measurements, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We demonstrate that changing the physical length of SPE connections gives rise to more accurate heterogeneous electrode kinetics, which cannot be overcome simply through IR compensation. Significant improvements are observed when utilized as the basis of electrochemical sensing platforms for sodium nitrite, β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), and lead (II). This work has a significant impact upon the field of SPEs and highlights the need for researchers to characterize and define their specific electrode performance. Without such fundamental characterization as the length and resistance of the SPE used, direct comparisons between two different systems for similar applications are obsolete. We therefore suggest that, when using SPEs in the future, experimentalists report the length of the working electrode connection alongside the measured resistance (multimeter or EIS) to facilitate this standardization across the field.

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