Developments in polarographic (voltammetric) analysis in the 1980's

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


As an analytical technique, polarography has had a chequered carrer. Developed almost 60 years and automated at a relatively early period of its history, polarography gained early acceptance as an instrumental method of trace analysis. However, in the 1950's and 1960's the technique almost disappeared from analytical laboratories and as an analytical method it was destined for early retirement according to some of the pundits. The advent of the use of low cost solid state electronic components into the field, coupled with widespread commercial availability of high quality instrumentation in the 1970's led to "The Renaissance of Polarography" as it has been called by several authors. As a new decade commences, it is interesting to speculate on future developments in the field. In this paper, the author's assessment of instrumental and other developments which could have substantial impact on the future of the technique will be considered. In particular, the possible replacement of the dropping mercury electrode, which has been used for the entire history of the technique, by a static mercury drop electrode, and the influence of microprocessor technology into many parts of the instrumentation and data acquisition will be considered. It is predicted that simultaneous development in these two areas could lead to much more closely related performance of the various polarographic techniques in the future and provide simplified routes to obtaining optimal and interference free data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-394
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry and Interfacial Electrochemistry
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 1981
Externally publishedYes

Cite this