Glassy carbon electrodes: I. Characterization and electrochemical activation
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Stevanović, Rade M.
Nikolić, Branislav Ž.
Jovanović, Vladislava M.
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Electrochemical properties of glassy carbon electrodes of two types were examined, one thermally treated at 1000°C (sample K) and another thermally treated at 2500° (sample G). Mechanically polished or electrochemically polarized electrodes were characterized in NaOH, HClO 4 and H 2 SO 4 solutions by cyclic voltammetry (cv) at different sweep rates in the potential range between the hydrogen and oxygen evolution. The activity of the electrodes depended on the properties of the glassy carbon examined, as determined by both the temperature of thermal treatment and the mechanical or electrochemical pretreatment of the sample. It was noticed that both types of electrodes, when polished exhibited an increase in the double layer charge upon increasing the pH value of the solution. The cv charges, for both types of samples, increase upon anodic polarization. The higher the potential of oxidation, the more pronounced is the increase in charge, particularly in acidic solution. The increase in c...harge amounts from below 1 mC cm -2 for polished glassy carbon up to few hundreds of mC cm -2 for surfaces anodically polarized in acidic solution. Analysis of the dependence of voltammetric charge, as well as morphological changes of the electrode surface, on the time of oxidation suggests the existence of three stages in the electrochemical activation process. The first one occurs only once at the beginning of the activation, while the other two repeat themselves, reflecting a periodical activation and deactivation process. These stages were discussed and ascribed to a surface layer oxidation, graphite oxide layer growth and mechanical destruction of the surface. Independent surface analysis by AES, XPS and STM confirms the results obtained by electrochemical methods.
Keywords:Cyclic voltammetry / Auger electron spectroscopy / Chemical polishing / Electrochemical electrodes / Glassy carbon electrodes / Scanning tunneling microscopy / Activation analysis / Electrochemical treatment, activation, oxidation / Oxidation / pH / X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS)
Source:Carbon, 2001, 39, 8, 1195-1205
- Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Serbia