Electrochemistry and Applications in Chemo-/Bio-Sensors and Energy Storage/Conversion

Dr. Tang's research combines bioanalytical chemistry and electrochemistry, specifically the characterization and application of surface modified electrodes in various electrolyte media.

Electrode/electrolyte interface

The kinetics and thermodynamics of interfacial processes are studied using electrodes modified with conductive polymers or monolayer/multilayer biomolecules. Depending on the purpose of application, the electrolyte media can be solids, aqueous solutions, organic solutions or ionic liquids. The electrode/electrolyte interaction generally involves the movement of electrons and/or ions in the electrolyte, at the electrolyte/electrolyte interface and on the modified electrode as shown in the figure below.

Research Fig 1.jpg

Figure. Simplified electrochemical reactions on electrode/electrolyte interface.

Coupled electrochemistry/sensing techniques

Electrochemical techniques are coupled with some sensing techniques, providing a powerful tool in studying the interfacial processes.

Sensing technique 1: SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance)

Surface plasmon resonance is a phenomenon when the surface plasmon is excited by the evanescent wave. Such resonance takes place at a specific angle and the change of this angle reflects the change of the interface. To understand the principle of SPR, we need to be aware of the following phenomena, which will be discussed in a setup as shown in the figure below.

Research Fig 2.jpg

Figure. SPR setup with Kretschmann configuration.

Total internal reflection: The gold film is deposited on a glass slide. Since the thickness of the gold film is in the range of tens of nanometers, we can neglect its effect on the total internal reflection when the incident light is reflected at the interface of the glass (the glass slide and the prime) and the liquid (Media 2). Total internal reflection occurs when the incident angle is greater than the critical angle.

Evanescent wave: This type of standing wave is formed in Media 2 when total internal reflection occurs. The gold film enhances the evanescent waves. The parallel wavefactor (kp) of the evanescent wave is determined by the wavelength of the incident light, the incident angle and the refractive index of the glass.

Surface plasmon: Surface plasmas can be found on a metal surface. Surface plasmas couple with photons to form polaritons. The oscillation of the polaritons generates a surface electromagnetic wave that propagates at the gold film/Media 2 interface. Like photons of light, surface plasmons are the quanta of the above polariton oscillation. The wavefactor of surface plasmon (ksp) is determined by the refractive indices of the gold film and Media 2.

Surface plasmon resonance: When kp is equal to ksp, surface plasmons are excited by the evanescent wave. As a result, the intensity of the reflected light is greatly reduced. The angle at which surface plasmon resonance occurs changes with the properties of Media 2 at the gold film/Media 2 interface.

Sensing technique 2: QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance)

The most commonly used quartz crystal in this technique is a thin AT-cut quartz crystal wafer. The thickness-shear-mode acoustic oscillation of this wafer has a characteristic resonance frequency. This resonance frequency changes with the presence of a foreign mass rigidly attached to the wafer surface. The frequency change is quantitatively related to the foreign mass according to the Sauerbrey equation, which states that the frequency change is linearly proportional to the mass change.


"Comprehensive Relationship Analysis of the Long Noncoding RNAs (IncRNAs) and the Target mRNAs in Response to the Infection of Edwardsiella anguillarum in European eel (Anguilla anguilla) Inoculated with Freund's Adjuvant", Wu, L.; Yin, Z.; Zheng, Z.; Tang, Y.; Guo, S., Marine Biotechnology 2022, 24, 956-968.

"Transcriptomic analysis using dual RNA sequencing revealed a Pathogen-Host interaction after Edwardsiella anguillarum infection in European eel (Anguilla anguilla)", Xiao, Y.; Wu, L.; He, L.; Tang, Y.; Guo, S.; Zhai, S., Fish & Shellfish Immunology 2022, 120, 745-757.

"Transcriptome of Edwardsiella anguillarum in vivo and in vitro revealed two-component system, ABC transporter and flagellar assembly are three pathways pathogenic to European eel (Anguilla anguilla)", Zhai, S.; Xiao, Y.; Tang, Y.; Wan, Q.; Guo, S., Microbial Pathogenesis 2021, 153, 104801.

"Immunization of a Novel Outer Membrane Protein from Aeromonas Hydrophila Simultaneously Resisting A. Hydrophila and Edwardsiella Anguillarum infection in European Eels (Angullia Angullia)", He, L.; Wu, L.; Tang, Y.; Lin, P.; Zhai, S.; Xiao, Y.; Guo, S., Fish & Shellfish Immunology 2020, 97, 300-312.

"Fabrication of Highly Sensitive Non-Enzymatic Sensor Based on Pt/PVF Modified Pt Electrode for Detection of Glucose", Malhotra, S.; Tang, Y.*; Varshney, P. K., Journal of the Iranian Chemical Society 2019, 17(3), 521-531.

"Non-Enzymatic Glucose Sensor of High Sensitivity Fabricated with Direct Deposition of Au Particles on Polyvinylferrocene Film Modified Pt Electrode", Malhotra, S.; Tang, Y.*; Varshney, P. K., Chemical Papers 2019, 73(8), 1987-1996.

"Amperometric Enzyme-Free Glucose Sensor Based on Electrodeposition of Au Particles on Polyaniline Film Modified Pt Electrode", Malhotra, S.; Tang, Y.*; Varshney, P.K., Acta Chimica Slovenica2018, 65, 687-697.

"Identifying Critical Factors for Catalyst Performance in Methanol Oxidation by Box-Behnken Design", Horswill, N. J.; Tang, Y.*, Monatsh. Chem. 2018, 149(10), 1749-1752.

"Non-Enzymatic Glucose Sensor Based on Electrodeposition of Platinum Particles on Polyaniline Modified Pt Electrode", Malhotra, S.; Tang, Y.*; Varshney, P. K., Anal. Bioanal. Electrochem. 2018, 10(6), 699-715.

"Fast Measurement of Methanol Concentration in Ionic Liquids by Potential Step Method", Hainstock, M. L.; Tang, Y.*, Int. J. Anal. Chem. 2015, doi:10.1155/2015/106173.

"Survey on the Direct Methanol Fuel Cells with Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids as the Fuel Solvent", Peplinski, N. D.; Tang, Y.*, RSC Advances 2014, 4(97), 54422-54426.

"Potential Step Study of Electrooxidation of Methanol in 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Tetrafluoroborate", Hainstock, M. L.; Tang, Y.*, Measurement 2014, 58, 21-26.

"Electrochemical Gas Sensors: Fundamentals, Fabrication, and Parameters", Stetter, J. R.; Korotcenkov, G.; Zeng, X.; Tang, Y.; Liu, Y., In Chemical Sensors: Comprehensive Sensor Technologies; Vol. 5: Electrochemical and Optical Sensors, Korotcenkov, G., Ed. Momentum Press: New York, 2011, Vol. 5, pp 1-90.

"Two-Dimensional Correlation in Cyclic Voltammetry and Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance: A Complementary Tool to Conventional Techniques", Whitman, L. R.; Bork, K. P.; Tang, Y.*, J. Electroanal. Chem. 2011, 661, 100-105.

"Ionic Liquid Conditioning of Poly(Vinyl Ferrocene) for the Doping/Undoping of Glycylglycylglycine Tripeptide", Tang, Y.; Baker, G. A.; Zeng, X.*, J. Phys. Chem. C 2010, 114, 13709-13715.

"Surface Plasmon Resonance: An Introduction to a Surface Spectroscopy Technique", Tang, Y.; Liang, J.; Zeng, X.*, J. Chem. Educ. 2010, 87, 742-746.