Hot electron-induced electrochemiluminescence (HECL) of calcein and calcein-Tb(III) complex was generated at oxide-covered aluminum electrode during cathodic pulse polarization. The excitation of calcein as a molecule or as a ligand is based on subsequent one-electron oxidation and reduction steps by oxidizing radicals and solvated electrons. During HECL excitation of calcein-Tb(III) solution a reaction product of the calcein is formed that also enables the photoexcitation of Tb(III) via the formed ligand derivative by ligand-sensitized mechanism. The determination of low concentrations of calcein with aluminum electrodes was complicated by a relatively strong background electroluminescence originating from the Al2O3-layer. Polyvinyl butyral-carbon black composite electrodes coated on brass were fabricated to solve this problem and a fifty-fold lower background emission was obtained for these novel composite electrodes in comparison to that of oxide-covered 99.9% pure aluminum electrodes. The obtained detection limits were 3.2·10−10 M for calcein and 6.4·10−9 M for calcein-Tb(III) at the present composite electrodes. These species could potentially be utilized as electrochemiluminescent labels in bioaffinity assays.
- Carbon paste electrodes
- Hot electron electrochemistry
- Lanthanide luminescence