Origin of Non-Nernstian Anion Response Slopes of Metalloporphyrin-Based Liquid/Polymer Membrane Electrodes


The origin of the non-Nernstian potentiometric anion response behavior exhibited by several metalloporphyrin-based liquid/polymeric membrane electrodes is examined. UV−visible spectrophotometry of organic-phase solutions and thin plasticized PVC films containing In(III) and Ga(III) octaethylporphyrins suggests that, in the absence of preferred axial coordination anions, the metalloporphyrins form hydroxide ion bridged dimers within the organic phases, as indicated by a significant blue shift of the Soret band in the visible spectrum. As increasing levels of the preferred anions are added, the degree of dimerization decreases and the intensity of the Soret band corresponding to the monomer species increases. Observation of Nernstian responses with membranes doped with picket fence-type In(III) and Ga(III) porphyrins not capable of forming hydroxide bridged structures (as determined by UV−visible spectroscopy) confirms that dimerization is likely responsible for the super-Nernstian slopes of membrane electrodes formulated with the nonpicket fence species. A phase boundary model based on simultaneous binding equilibria of hydroxide ions with two metalloporphyrins to form the dimeric species, while the target anions bind with metalloporphyrins to form neutral 1:1 complexes, is shown to fully predict the observed non-Nernstian behavior. The prospect of utilizing this anion-dependent dimer−monomer metalloporphyrin equilibrium to fabricate anion-selective optical sensors using thin films of metalloporphyrin-doped polymers is also discussed.

Document Type





anions, oligomers, pyrroles, membranes, electrodes

Publication Date


Journal Title

Analytical chemistry