Spectroelectrochemical Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer


The use of electrochemical oxidation of carbon with detection of the resultant carbon dioxide gas, is a versatile, easy to use, and cost-effective alternative for accurately determining total organic carbon (TOC) levels in a solution. While a variety of electrodes made of different materials are readily available, they are limited in their capacity to effectively oxidize organics. Dr. Samuel Kounaves has developed a TOC analyzer containing an improved electrode that addresses these limitations.


The most common working electrode material has typically been carbon-based or made from metals such as platinum, silver, gold, mercury, or nickel. Such electrodes, however, poorly oxidize because of their limited anodic range. These electrodes eventually themselves become oxidized, and therefore are inefficient for any practical use.


Dr. Samuel Kounaves has developed a device for carrying out the efficient oxidation and measuring the amount of organic carbon in a liquid solution. The working electrode is composed of a substrate material such as silicon, niobium, or titanium and made conductive by coating it with a boron-doped diamond film.


The unique properties of highly boron-doped diamond (BDD) films include low and stable background currents, wide working potential window in electrolyte solutions, reversible electron transfer kinetics for redox species, and morphological and microstructural stability at extreme anodic and cathodic potentials. Hence, the most difficult organic molecules to oxidize electrochemically, can be oxidized by a BDD-film electrode with no visible oxidation of the electrode itself, even after multiple cycles.


US 7,632,393 issued in 2009

US 8,216,447 issued in 2012


John Cosmopoulos, MBA, CLP

Sr. Associate Director, OTTIC



Licensing Contact

John Cosmopoulos