Dynamic DGT speciation analysis and applicability to natural heterogeneous complexes

R.M. Town, P. Chakraborty, H.P. van Leeuwen

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to their inherent heterogeneity, the thermodynamic stability of metal ion complexes with natural ligands is characterised by a distribution, and thus is a function of metal-to-ligand ratio. The kinetic features of such metal complexes are also distributed and can be probed by dynamic speciation techniques. The kinetic regime of the metal complex sample can be manipulated via the metal-to-ligand ratio, and the timescale over which kinetic parameters are actually in effect is defined by the window of the chosen technique. Here we detail the kinetic features of diffusive gradients in thin film (DGT), and show that the range of attainable measurement timescales (t) is rather limited: variation of the gel layer thickness practically allows only one order of magnitude in t to be scanned. The more effective use of DGT to probe the distribution of dynamic metal species in heterogeneous systems is via variation of the metal-to-ligand ratio in the sample solution. Compilation of the literature DGT data for natural waters shows that by assuming a Freundlich isotherm relationship, the degree of heterogeneity is reflected in the measured DGT concentration as a function of metal ion loading
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-177
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • trace-metal speciation
  • in-situ measurements
  • deposition potential sscp
  • thin-films dgt
  • humic acids
  • voltammetric techniques
  • dissociation kinetics
  • fulvic-acid
  • fresh-water
  • stripping chronopotentiometry


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