Spectroelectrochemistry Applications and Instrumentation
Electrochemistry is an extremely valuable tool for examining the kinetics of a wide range of oxidation-reduction reactions. In these types of reactions, electrons are exchanged between atoms spontaneously, which forms the basic physical principle behind chemical batteries. Just as specific oxidation-reduction reactions can cause electron flow, i.e. current, the same process can also work in reverse. Therefore, one can create a chemical reaction, that would not typically occur by running current through a substance. The most common example of this, known as electrolysis, is demonstrated by using an electrolytic cell to split water into diatomic hydrogen and oxygen. In this case, a voltage source is connected to an anode and cathode which are placed in a water bath, and as current flows through the water, electrons are transferred from the oxygen to the hydrogen causing the molecule to separate.
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