Paired pulse voltammetry for differentiating complex analytes

Dong Pyo Jang, Inyong Kim, Su Youne Chang, Hoon Ki Min, Kanika Arora, Michale P. Marsh, Sun Chul Hwang, Christopher J. Kimble, Kevin E. Bennet, Kendall H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Although fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) has contributed to important advances in neuroscience research, the technique is encumbered by significant analytical challenges. Confounding factors such as pH change and transient effects at the microelectrode surface make it difficult to discern the analytes represented by complex voltammograms. Here we introduce paired-pulse voltammetry (PPV), that mitigates the confounding factors and simplifies the analytical task. PPV consists of a selected binary waveform with a specific time gap between each of its two comprising pulses, such that each binary wave is repeated, while holding the electrode at a negative potential between the waves. This allows two simultaneous yet very different voltammograms (primary and secondary) to be obtained, each corresponding to the two pulses in the binary waveform. PPV was evaluated in the flow cell to characterize three different analytes, (dopamine, adenosine, and pH changes). The peak oxidation current decreased by approximately 50%, 80%, and 4% for dopamine, adenosine, and pH, in the secondary voltammogram compared with the primary voltammogram, respectively. Thus, the influence of pH changes could be virtually eliminated using the difference between the primary and secondary voltammograms in the PPV technique, which discriminates analytes on the basis of their adsorption characteristics to the carbon fiber electrode. These results demonstrate that PPV can be effectively used for differentiating complex analytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1428-1435
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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