Electrochemical Education


The purpose of this Web site is to collect in one location resources useful to educators attempting to incorporate modern electrochemical techniques into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum.  The availability of low-cost, high performance potentiostats has put the capability of using sophisticated electrochemical techniques within the the reach of many undergraduate chemistry programs.  However, unlike spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques, voltammetric techniques have not been widely adopted in most chemistry curricula.  The National Academy of Science's publication, New Horizons in Electrochemical Science and Technology, states that "topics such as electrolytes and galvanic cells have been relegated to cursory treatment in freshman chemistry", "there has been a gradual disappearance of electrochemical coverage in most physical chemistry courses", and thus "most undergraduate students are ill prepared in ...electrochemistry".  The goal of this Web site is to facilitate use of modern electrochemical techniques in undergraduate curricula by collecting experiments and information which may be useful to faculty attempting to use these tools with students.  In particular, it is hoped that non-electrochemists will find materials here which will enable them to add voltammetric techniques to student laboratories.


Why electrochemistry?  According to Sawyer et al. (Electrochemistry for Chemists, 2nd ed.), "..chemical questions amenable to treatment by electochemistry include...."

 - standard potentials of oxidation-reduction reactions
 - evaluation of the solution thermodynamics
 - determination of the electron stoichiometry of oxidation-reduction reactions
 - evaluation of the heterogeneous electron-transfer kinetics and mechanism

 - determination of the effect of solvent and electrode material on electron-transfer kinetics
 - study of reaction and product absorption processes in relation to heterogeneous  catalysis
 - study of pre- and post- chemical reactions associated with the electron-transfer  reactions
 - preparation and study of unstable intermediates
 - evaluation of the valence of the metal in new compounds
 - determination of the formulas and stability constants of metal complexes
 - evaluation of M-X, H-X, and O-Y covalent bond formation energies
 - studies on the effects of solvent, supporting electrolyte, and solution acidity on oxidation-reduction reactions

Experiments- experiments from the Journal of Chemical Education,  the Chemical Educator, and from the Web dealing with voltammetry, polarography, or other topics of interest.


Equipment - links to suppliers of electrochemical equipment


Writing a Proposal? - search the NSF database for proposals requesting electrochemical equipment.  Many PIs will share information upon request.  You may want to also take a look at CCLI- Adaptation and Implementation awardees.  This used to be the program of choice for acquiring instrumentation for teaching purposes.


Background - looking to brush up on specific techniques?  Need a source of info for an undergrad working on an independent project? Links to Web tutorials as well as references from the chemical education literature may be found here.


Other Sites and Resources - links to electrochemical journals, other e-chem web sites, and selected research group web sites.


Support from NSF-CCLI grant 0126448 is gratefully acknowledged, as is the advice and expertise of the Electrochemistry Advisory Committee - Professors Johna Leddy and Michelle Scherer of the University of Iowa, Professor Cindy Strong of Cornell College, and Nick Noreuil of Rockwell Collins.


Read a review of the site in the June 4, 2004 edition of Science in the NetWatch column.  The site is listed in the Analytical Sciences Digital Libary (a compiliation of peer-reviewed websites funded by the National Science Foundation).


Please send comments, criticisms, and suggestions to Marty St. Clair, Professor of Chemistry, Coe College (mstclair@coe.edu). Heather Edvenson (Coe '05) designed the Web pages.


Last modified 05/24/2011 

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