Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

A High-performance Micromachined Amperometric Nitrate Sensor for Environmental Monitoring


A sensitive and miniaturized amperometric nitrate (NO3-) sensor for groundwater monitoring was designed, fabricated, and tested. The thin-film microelectrodes were patterned on the silicon substrate with microfabrication techniques. The sensor shows very promising performance, compared to commercial nitrate sensors. A low detection limit of 4 ?M and wide dynamic range of 10 mM with excellent linearity (r2=0.99) are achieved and yet sensor is in a small form factor (4×4×3 cm). Many efforts have been being made to improve the sensor reliability and to realize stand-alone field measurements. Reference electrode was treated with polyurethane coating. An automated sample-handling and sensor calibration system was studied. A miniaturized potentiostat with built-in pumps and valves controller have also been made. In order to overcome short life-time of the thin-film sensing electrode, a palm-sized sensor that consists of Plexiglass housing, macro-scale electrodes, and microfluidic channels have been newly developed. The interference from common ions in groundwater was characterized and major interferents are Sr+, Ca2+, and PO¬43-. An ion specific membrane is employed in the sensor to minimize interference, and selectivity of the sensor is currently being analyzed.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View