Amperometric Detection of Plant Volatiles Using Metal Oxide Nanoparticles

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
West Hall 1 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Y. Fang (College of Engineering, University of Georgia) and R. P. Ramasamy (College of Engineering, University of Georgia)
Volatile organic compounds released by pathogen-infected plants can be used as fingerprints for plant disease detection via electronic nose technologies1,2. In this work, nanoparticles of TiO2 or SnO2 modified on screen-printed carbon (SP) electrodes have been developed for detection of fruit volatiles using amperometric techniques. p-ethylguaiacol, is a characteristic compound present in the volatile signature of  fruits infected with a pathogenic fungus called Phytophthora cactorum. The electroanalytical data obtained using cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry showed that both SnO2 and TiO2 exhibited high sensitivity (174–188 mA cm-2 mM-1) and low detection limits (35–62 nM) for p-ethylguaiacol detection3. Both biosensors were evaluated for interference by adding common green leaf volatiles (cis-3-hexel-1-ol, hexyl acetate and cis-3-hexen-1-yl acetate). The results demonstrate that both metal oxides are a reasonable alternative to expensive electrode materials such as gold or platinum for amperometric sensor applications.


  1. T. Baldwin, A. Kessler and R. Halitschke, Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 2002, 5, 351.
  2. P. W. Par´e and J. H. Tumlinson, Plant Physiol., 1999, 121, 325.
  3. Y. Fang, Y. Umasankar and R. P. Ramasamy, Analyst., 2014, 139, 3804