Project summary (ca 200-400 words) 

Since their introduction in 2000, working electrodes based on solid silver amalgam modified with a mercury meniscus have gained an irreplaceable position in the field of sensitive voltammetric analysis of electrochemically active genotoxic environmental pollutants and anticancer drugs as a non-toxic replacement of the hanging mercury drop electrode. However, the amalgam intermetallic phase forming the surface of these electrodes also offers the possibility of electrochemical accumulation of noble metals to form new phases with targeted ratios of accumulated metals. This new "doping" method should impart entirely new properties to the electrode surface, leading to enhanced adsorption of specific analytes (contributing to increased sensitivity of their voltammetric determination) and increased chemisorption of modifiers for the preparation of new voltammetric DNA biosensors. Metals suitable for the above-mentioned accumulation appear to be copper (Hg/Ag-Cu phase), bismuth (Hg/Ag-Bi phase), and gold (Hg/Ag-Au phase).

The aim of this project will be to carry out a basic study including (i) the optimization of the preparation of the above mentioned amalgam intermetallic phases for the preparation of working electrodes, (ii) the electrochemical characterization of these surfaces (using cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry, square wave voltammetry, amperometry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), (iii) and the study of electrode interactions with selected analytes (purine bases, sulphur atoms containing amino acids, or nitrated organic environmental pollutants, pesticides, drugs) and with chemical modifiers for the preparation of new DNA biosensors (single or double stranded DNA). Intercalation and covalent binding of selected analytes to DNA will be studied using DNA biosensors. The developed sensors and DNA biosensors will be tested and designed primarily for use in a high-throughput screening arrangement (batch injection analysis with electrochemical detection).

The candidate should have a solid background in the use of electrochemical analytical techniques and a good knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry. Practical experience with other analytical techniques is welcome.


1. Svitková V., Nemčeková K., Vyskočil V.: Application of Silver Solid Amalgam Electrodes in Electrochemical Detection of DNA Damage. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2022, 414, 5435–5444 (

2. Fojta M., Daňhel A., Havran L., Vyskočil V.: Recent Progress in Electrochemical Sensors and Assays for DNA Damage and Repair. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry 2016, 79, 160–167 (

3. Deýlová D., Vyskočil V., Barek J., Economou A.: Bismuth Film Electrode at a Silver Solid Amalgam Substrate as a New Tool for Voltammetric Determination of Electrochemically Reducible Organic Compounds. Talanta 2012, 102, 68–74 (

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