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Reference Electrodes

  • Heike KahlertEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In most electrochemical measurements, it is necessary to keep one of the electrodes in an electrochemical cell at a constant potential. This so-called reference electrode allows control of the potential of a working electrode (e.g. in voltammetry) or the measurement of an indicator electrode (e.g. in potentiometry, see Chap. II.9). The standard hydrogen electrode plays the role of a basic reference element in electrochemical devices; however, in practice, it is difficult to handle. Therefore, secondary reference electrodes are preferred in most experiments. A secondary reference electrode must fulfil the following criteria: (i) it should be chemically and electrochemically reversible, i.e. its potential is governed by the Nernst equation and does not change in time; (ii) the potential must remain almost constant when a small current passes through the electrode and reverse to its original value after such small current flow (i.e. a non-polarisable electrode); and (iii) the thermal coefficient of potential should be small.

Keywords

Reference Electrode Electrolyte Solution Salt Bridge Potassium Chloride Standard Hydrogen Electrode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Biochemie, Universität GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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