This work uncovers the application of porphyrin dimers for the use in electroanalysis, such as potentiometric determination of ions. It also puts in question a current perception of an occurrence of the super-Nernstian response, as a result of the possible dimerization of single porphyrins within an ion-selective membrane. To study that, four various porphyrin dimers were used as ionophores, namely, freebase-freebase, Zn-Zn, Zn-freebase, and freebase-Zn. Since the Zn-freebase and freebase-Zn porphyrin dimers carried both anion- and cation-sensitive porphyrin units, their application in ISEs was utilized in both anion- and cation-sensitive sensors. With respect to the lipophilic salt added, both porphyrins dimers were found anion- and cation-sensitive. This allowed using a single molecule as novel type of versatile ionophore (anion- and cation-selective), simply by varying the membrane composition. All anion-sensitive sensors were perchlorate-sensitive, while the cation-selective sensors were silver-sensitive. The selectivity of the sensors depended primarily on the porphyrin dimers in the ion-selective membrane. Furthermore, the selectivity of cation-sensitive dimer based sensors was found significantly superior to the ones measured for the single porphyrin unit based sensors (precursors of the porphyrin dimers). Thus, the dimerization of single porphyrins may actually be a factor to increase or modulate porphyrin selectivity. Moreover, in the case of cation-sensitive sensors, the selectivity vastly depended on the order of porphyrin units in the dimer. This opens a new approach of regulating and adjusting sensitivity and selectivity of the sensor through the application of complex porphyrin systems with more than one porphyrin units with mix sensitive porphyrins.
- Solid-contact ion-selective electrode