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Open Access Environmental Sensing of Aquatic Systems at the University of Geneva

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Aquatic environments are complex living systems where biological and chemical constituents change rapidly with time and space and may exhibit synergistic interactions. To understand these processes, the traditional approach based on a typically monthly collection of samples followed by laboratory analysis is not adequate. It must be replaced by high-resolution autonomous in situ detection approaches. In our group at the University of Geneva, we aim to develop and deploy chemical sensor probes to understand complex aquatic systems. Most research centers around electrochemical sensing approaches, which involves: stripping voltammetry at gel-coated microelectrode arrays for direct measurements of bioavailable essential or toxic trace metals; direct potentiometry for the measurement of nutrients and other species involved in the nitrogen and carbon cycles; online desalination for oceanic measurements; the development of robust measurement principles such as thin layer coulometry, and speciation analysis by tandem electrochemical detection with potentiometry and dynamic electrochemistry. These fundamental developments are combined with instrument design, both in-house and with external partners, and result in field deployments in partnership with environmental researchers in Switzerland and the European Union.

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Keywords: (MICRO-)NUTRIENTS/POLLUTANTS; ELECTROCHEMICAL SENSORS; ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING; NITROGEN AND CARBON SPECIES; OPTODES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Geneva, Quai E.-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Genève 4, Switzerland. [email protected] 2: Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Geneva, Quai E.-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Genève 4, Switzerland

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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