Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 19, pp 4575–4586 | Cite as

Capacitive hysteresis at the 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tris(pentafluoroethyl)-trifluorophosphate–polycrystalline gold interface

  • Anthony J. Lucio
  • Scott K. ShawEmail author
Paper in Forefront
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Ionic Liquids as Tunable Materials in (Bio)Analytical Chemistry


We report potential-dependent capacitance curves over a 2-V potential range for the 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tris(pentafluoroethyl)-trifluorophosphate (Emim FAP)–polycrystalline gold interface, and examine the effect of potential scan direction on results. We find very small levels of capacitive hysteresis in the Emim FAP–polycrystalline Au electrochemical system, where capacitance curves show minor dependence on the potential scan direction employed. This is a considerably different response than that reported for the Emim FAP–Au(111) interface where significant hysteresis is observed based on the potential scan direction (Drüschler et al. in J Phys Chem C 115 (14):6802–6808, 2011). Hysteresis effects have previously been suggested to be a general feature of an ionic liquid (IL) at electrified interfaces due to slow interfacial processes and has been demonstrated for numerous electrochemical systems. We provide new evidence that the experimental procedure used to acquire capacitance data and data workup could also have implications on capacitance–potential relationships in ILs. This work serves to progress our understanding of the nature of capacitive hysteresis at the IL–electrode interface.

Graphical abstract

Subtle changes in experimental methods can lead to significantly different capacitance measurements in ionic liquids. Which is the best approach?


Capacitance Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Electrochemical double layer Hysteresis Ionic liquid 



A.J.L. gratefully acknowledges support from the University of Iowa, Department of Chemistry GAANN Fellowship. A.J.L. kindly thanks Dr. Tamás Pajkossy (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Bernard Boukamp (University of Twente), Jens Wallauer (rhd Instruments), and Prof. Mark Orazem (University of Florida) for helpful discussions.

Funding information

This work was financially supported by the ACS-PRF and Iowa Energy Center under awards 55279-DNI5 and OG-15-002, respectively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2018_962_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1.04 mb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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