A light-addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS) is a chemical sensor with a field-effect structure based on semiconductor. Its response to the analyte concentration is read out in the form of a photocurrent generated by illuminating the semiconductor with a modulated light beam. As stated in its name, a LAPS is capable of spatially resolved measurement using a scanning light beam. Recently, it has been pointed out that a part of the signal current is lost by the return current due to capacitive coupling between the solution and the semiconductor, which may seriously affect the sensor performance such as the signal-to-noise ratio, the spatial resolution, and the sensitivity. In this study, a circuit model for the return current is proposed to study its dependence on various parameters such as the diameter of contact area, the modulation frequency, the specific conductivity of the solution, and the series resistance of the circuit. It is suggested that minimization of the series resistance of the circuit is of utmost importance in order to avoid the influence of the return current. The results of calculation based on this model are compared with experimental results, and its applicability and limitation are discussed.
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