By: Melissa Hill, PhD
Electrochemistry, a fundamental component of modern technology, is a crucial element of several rapidly growing fields of work, such as energy storage, battery chemistry, and materials science. These topics are important in today’s modern world, even more so to the undergraduate chemistry majors who are entering into these fields after graduation. Yet students often cringe at the topic of electrochemistry and get very little hands-on exposure to it in the classroom. The Vernier Go Direct® Cyclic Voltammetry System solves this problem with its simple design, complete system approach, free e-book, and free software.
The Go Direct® Cyclic Voltammetry System solves this problem with its simple design, complete system approach, five free experiments, and free software. Developed in collaboration with Pine Research, students can easily control and apply potential to a chemical system and measure the response as electrical current.
Cyclic voltammetry (CV) is a powerful and popular electrochemical technique commonly used to investigate the reduction and oxidation processes of molecules. CV is also very useful in the study of electron-transfer-initiated chemical reactions, which includes catalysis.
While a simple voltage and current probe on your lemon battery can passively make instantaneous measurements of a redox system, these probes cannot drive electron transfer reactions away from equilibrium like CV. Students can adjust how fast the reaction occurs or to what extent the reaction occurs by regulating the current or the potential, respectively. With these pivotal controls, students can further engage with the electrochemical reaction and, ultimately, work toward understanding redox reactions more thoroughly.
As a tiny potentiostat, Go Direct Cyclic Voltammetry System is a great tool for teaching the fundamental electrochemistry methods of cyclic voltammetry, bulk electrolysis, and open circuit potentiometry. Students can apply analytical techniques to determine the acetaminophen concentration in medication, to explore antioxidants in everyday beverages, to investigate Faraday’s law, and to understand cyclic voltammetry using ferricyanide.