Determination of rate constants using microelectrodes

by Peter John. Mahon

Institution: Deakin University
Year: 1992
Keywords: Microelectrodes; Chemical reactions
Record ID: 1032514
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30023316


An understanding of the rate and the mechanism of reaction is of fundamental importance in the many facets of chemistry. Electrochemical systems are further complicated by the heterogeneous boundary, between the solution and the electrode, that the electron passes through before any electrochemical reaction can take place. This thesis concerns the development of methods for analysing electrode kinetics. One part involves the further development of the Global Analysis procedure to include electrodes with a spherical geometry which are traditionally the most popular form of electrodes. Simulated data is analysed to ascertain the accuracy of the procedure and then the known artifacts of uncompensated solution resistance and charging current are added to the simulated data so that the effects can be observed. The experimental analysis of 2-methyl-2-nitropropane is undertaken and comparisons are made with the Marcus-Hush electrochemical theories concerning electrode kinetics. A related section explores procedures for the kinetic analysis of steady state voltammetric data obtained at microdisc electrodes. A method is proposed under the name of Normalised Steady State Voltammetry and is tested using data obtained from a Fast Quasi-Explicit Finite Difference simulation of diffusion to a microdisc electrode. In a second area of work using microelectrodes, the electrochemical behaviour of compounds of the general formula M(CO)3(η3 - P2P1) where M is either Cr, Mo or W and P2P' is bis(2-diphenylphosphinoethyl)phenylphosphine) is elucidated. The development of instrumentation and mathematical procedures relevant to the measurement and quantitation of these systems is also investigated. The tungsten compound represents the first examples where the 17-electronfac+ and mer+ isomers are of comparable stability.