Selective Deionization of Thin-Layer Samples Using Tandem Carbon Nanotubes−Polymeric Membranes
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Herein, we investigate the selective deionization (i.e., the removal of ions) in thin-layer samples (<100 μm in thickness) using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) covered with an ionophore-based ion-selective membrane (ISM), resulting in a CNT-ISM tandem actuator. The concept of selective deionization is based on a recent discovery by our group (Anal. Chem. 2022, 94, 21, 7455−7459), where the activation of the CNT-ISM architecture is conceived on a mild potential step that charges the CNTs to ultimately generate the depletion of ions in a thinlayer sample. The role of the ISM is to selectively facilitate the transport of only one ion species to the CNT lattice. To estimate the deionization efficiency of such a process, a potentiometric sensor is placed less than 100 μm away from the CNT-ISM tandem, inside a microfluidic cell. This configuration helped to reveal that the selective uptake of ions increases with the capacitance of the CNTs and that the ISM requires a certain ion-excha...