, Volume 383, Issue 6, pp 1009-1013
Date: 15 Oct 2005

Voltammetric analysis using a self-renewable non-mercury electrode

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Galinstan is a new kind of electrode material and the galinstan electrode is a promising alternative to the commonly used mercury electrodes. The eutectic mixture of gallium, indium and tin is liquid at room temperature (m.p. −19°C) and its voltammetric behaviour is similar to that of mercury. The potential windows of use were determined for different pH values and are similar to those obtained with conventional mercury electrodes. Furthermore, the high hydrogen overpotential, which is characteristic for mercury, can be observed when galinstan is used as electrode material. Galinstan can be employed as a liquid electrode in the voltammetric analysis of different metal ions, such as lead and cadmium, in different supporting electrolytes. Our results indicate that the non-toxic liquid alloy galinstan could therefore become immensely important in electrochemical research as a potential surrogate material for mercury.