Portable light-emitting diode-based photometer with one-shot optochemical sensors for measurement in the field

Palma, A. J.; Ortigosa, J. M.; Lapresta-Fernández, A.; Fernández-Ramos, M. D.; Carvajal, M. A.; Capitán-Vallvey, L. F.
October 2008
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2008, Vol. 79 Issue 10, p103105
Academic Journal
This report describes the electronics of a portable, low-cost, light-emitting diode (LED)-based photometer dedicated to one-shot optochemical sensors. Optical detection is made through a monolithic photodiode with an on-chip single-supply transimpedance amplifier that reduces some drawbacks such as leakage currents, interferences, and parasitic capacitances. The main instrument characteristics are its high light source stability and thermal correction. The former is obtained by means of the optical feedback from the LED polarization circuit, implementing a pseudo-two light beam scheme from a unique light source with a built-in beam splitter. The feedback loop has also been used to adjust the LED power in several ranges. Moreover, the low-thermal coefficient achieved (-90 ppm/°C) is compensated by thermal monitoring and calibration function compensation in the digital processing. The hand-held instrument directly gives the absorbance ratio used as the analytical parameter and the analyte concentration after programming the calibration function in the microcontroller. The application of this photometer for the determination of potassium and nitrate, using one-shot sensors with ionophore-based chemistries is also demonstrated, with a simple analytical methodology that shortens the analysis time, eliminating some calibrating solutions (HCl, NaOH, and buffer). Therefore, this compact instrument is suitable for real-time analyte determination and operation in the field.


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