Issue 40, 2013

Non-purged voltammetry explored with AGNES


The reduction of oxygen increases pH in the surroundings of an electrode. A theoretical model estimates the steady-state pH profile from the surface of the electrode up to the bulk solution. A very simple formula predicts that, in non-deaerated solutions, for bulk pH-values between 4.0 and 10.0, the corresponding surface pH could be as high as 10.3, regardless of the thickness of the diffusion layer and composition of the sample (except if it has a buffering capacity). For bulk pH lower than 3.0 or higher than 10, pH increases are negligible. Less steep pH-profiles are obtained using buffers (such as MOPS 0.01 M or MES 0.01 M). The change in surface pH modifies the local speciation and hinders the standard interpretation of voltammetric responses. The electroanalytical technique Absence of Gradients and Nernstian Equilibrium Stripping (AGNES), implemented with Screen Printed Electrodes (SPE), provides experimental insights into this phenomenon. AGNES probes the free metal concentration at the electrode surface, from which the surface pH can be estimated for systems of known composition. These estimations agree with the theoretical model for the assayed systems. Additionally, the quantification of the bulk free Zn2+ and Cd2+ concentrations with specific modifications of AGNES for non-purged synthetic solutions is discussed. In general, more accurate determinations of the bulk free metal concentrations in non-purged solutions are expected: (i) when the calibration is performed in a medium where the pH increase induces similar changes in the surface free metal concentration and in the sample solution and (ii) when the system is more buffered.

Graphical abstract: Non-purged voltammetry explored with AGNES

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
06 Jul 2013
19 Aug 2013
First published
21 Aug 2013

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 17510-17521

Non-purged voltammetry explored with AGNES

D. Aguilar, J. Galceran, E. Companys, J. Puy, C. Parat, L. Authier and M. Potin-Gautier, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 17510 DOI: 10.1039/C3CP52836G

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity