A multiparametric continuous-flow system for on-line monitoring of water based on ISFET sensors is described. The ISFETs used have silicon nitride as gate material, and the electrical contacts are placed on the back side of the chip. This is a technological improvement that allows for a more compact ISFET packaging and greatly increases the lifetime of the sensor compared with planar type ISFETs, since the electrical parts are separated from the chemical environment A special probe has been designed in order to encapsulate and apply these ISFETs into the flow system. Further, a reference electrode based on standard Ag/AgCl technology has been constructed according to the ISFET probe design in order to integrate both sensors in the same flow-through cell. These probes can be easily replaced in the flow system and are made of cheap and easily mechanized materials. Using these flow-through sensors, a continuous-flow system for the determination of pH, NH4+, Ca2+, and NO3-in waters has been designed. The system configuration is based on a modular design (one setup for each parameter and a common sampling channel), which allows simple manipulation and maintenance as well as a good flexibility for different analytical requirements. A study of the system characteristics was performed by following the specifications for water monitoring. Under the conditions established for the flow system, a sampling rate of 20 h-1was obtained for each parameter, and long-term stabilities of at least 3 weeks of daily work for ISFET sensors and 5 months for the reference electrode have been achieved. The response performances obtained show the feasibility of the BSC ISFET probe use in continuous-flow monitoring.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 1996|