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Autonomous Measurement of Electrochemical Redox Couples for In-Situ Characterization of Enceladus Plume Samples

Presentation #109.01 in the session “Icy Satellites: Surface and Above”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Autonomous Measurement of Electrochemical Redox Couples for In-Situ Characterization of Enceladus Plume Samples

A 3D-printed microfluidic electrochemical cell with integrated electrodes was developed to demonstrate autonomous in-situ electrochemical characterization of terrestrial seawater samples. The system is designed to extend the capabilities of the 2008 Phoenix Lander’s Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) that analyzed the soluble chemistry of the Martian soil, by miniaturizing its fluidic architecture for analysis of µL-volume samples as expected from an Enceladus fly-by mission. The microfluidic device has a total fluid volume of 48 µL and includes dual channels each populated with 7 electrodes. Measurement of pH was measured using an iridium oxide electrode. Cyclic voltammetry with Au, Pt, and glassy carbon working electrodes was used to measure redox couples in synthetic seawater that contained inorganic and bio-organic molecules. Glassy carbon was found to have minimal risk of interference from constituents of synthetic seawater when measuring molecular organic redox species; however, care must be used to prevent interference due to potential oxidation or dissolution in the case of Au working electrodes. A completely autonomous end-to-end run including sample delivery was performed, to demonstrate the feasibility of microfluidic-based cyclic voltammetry measurements for in-situ characterization of redox couples in Ocean World samples.


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