Laboratory Course in Electrochemistry Overview
Electrochemistry Lab Kit
Electrochemistry often gets short shrift in modern undergraduate chemistry curricula. A student sees the Nernst equation in first-year General Chemistry, and revisits it during a discussion of thermodynamics in Physical Chemistry—but there the topic rests.
Yet the modern technological world is driven by electrochemistry, in the form of compact batteries for the myriad of portable electronic devices, and—more and more—in the form of powerful electric batteries to run our cars. How to prevent or minimize corrosion of metals has been a crucial subject for engineers for centuries. Conversion and storage of electrical energy is an active research topic for energy conservation. Even biology and neuroscience is very much a subject of ionic gradients across cell membranes. In fact, the single largest electrochemistry market is the self-monitoring of blood glucose —which in 2014 was evaluated at over US $10 billion. Thus every scientist and engineer must know some basics about our truly electrochemical world.
This electrochemistry lab kit course is an attempt to introduce the undergraduate, in one semester, to some of the present-day techniques found in modern electrochemistry. We assume that the student has had one full year of General Chemistry lecture and laboratory. Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry are decidedly helpful, but not required. The laboratory experiments are designed to be run in the order presented in this book, but are also distinct so that they can be used individually for the purpose of the course. All data-collection, analysis, and questions are on separate pages from the background and procedure; they may be torn out from the book and handed in with graphs and plots that the student generates.
All of the specialized electrochemical instrumentation and accessories necessary to run the experiments in the textbook may be purchased from Gamry Instruments, Inc. in the form of a kit in order to set up a complete electrochemical lab for this course.