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10: Electrochemical Methods

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    In Chapter 10 we examined several spectroscopic techniques that take advantage of the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter. In this chapter we turn our attention to electrochemical techniques in which the potential, current, or charge in an electrochemical cell serves as the analytical signal.

    Although there are only three fundamental electrochemical signals, there are many possible experimental designs—too many, in fact, to cover adequately in an introductory textbook. The simplest division of electrochemical techniques is between bulk techniques, in which we measure a property of the solution in the electrochemical cell, and interfacial techniques, in which the potential, current, or charge depends on the species present at the interface between an electrode and the solution in which it sits. The measurement of a solution’s conductivity, which is proportional to the total concentration of dissolved ions, is one example of a bulk electrochemical technique. A determination of pH using a pH electrode is an example of an interfacial electrochemical technique. Only interfacial electrochemical methods receive further consideration in this chapter.

    • 10.1: Overview of Electrochemistry
      The focus of this chapter is on analytical techniques that use a measurement of potential, current, or charge to determine an analyte’s concentration or to characterize an analyte’s chemical reactivity. Collectively we call this area of analytical chemistry electrochemistry because its originated from the study of the movement of electrons in an oxidation–reduction reaction.
    • 10.2: Potentiometric Methods
      In potentiometry we measure the potential of an electrochemical cell under static conditions. Because no current—or only a negligible current—flows through the electrochemical cell, its composition remains unchanged. For this reason, potentiometry is a useful quantitative method of analysis.

    This page titled 10: Electrochemical Methods is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by David Harvey.

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