Reference Electrodes

Reference Electrodes - Uses and Features

A reference electrode is a special electrode with a stable and well-defined potential. Imagine it as a ruler with a fixed starting point. By comparing the potential of the reference electrode to the working electrode (where the interesting chemistry happens), scientists can determine the exact potential of the reaction at the working electrode.

Here are some key features of a good reference electrode:

  • Stable Potential: Its potential shouldn't change with time or the passage of a small current.
  • Well-Defined Potential: The exact potential of the reference electrode reaction must be known for accurate measurements.
  • Non-Polarizable: Ideally, the reference electrode shouldn't participate in the electrochemical reaction itself.

Silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrodes are replacing saturated calomel electrodes (SCE) due to environmental concerns. Both offer stable potentials, but Ag/AgCl electrodes are easier to use.

R1/HgCl/8×82/S7 Reference Electrode

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