Electrode potentials

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As it has been pointed out in the Preface the reference electrode allows the control of the potential of a working electrode or the measurement of the potential of an indicator electrode relative to that reference electrode. The rate, the product, and the product distribution of electrode reactions depend on the electrode potential. A knowledge of the electrode potential is of utmost importance in order to design any electrochemical device or to carry out any meaningful measurement. When current flows through an electrochemical cell the potential of one of the electrodes should remain practically constant-it is the reference electrode-in order to have a well-defined value for the electrode potential of the electrode under investigation or to control its potential. An ideally non-polarizable electrode or an electrode the behavior of which is close to it may serve as a reference electrode. The choice and the construction of the reference electrode depend on the experimental or technical conditions, among others on the current applied, the nature and composition of the electrolyte (e.g., aqueous solution, nonaqueous solution, melts), and temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Reference Electrodes
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783642361883
ISBN (Print)9783642361876
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Inzelt, G. (2013). Electrode potentials. In Handbook of Reference Electrodes (pp. 1-24). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36188-3_1