Dual-Frequency Alternating Current Designer Waveform for Reliable Voltammetric Determination of Electrode Kinetics Approaching the Reversible Limit

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Alternating current (ac) voltammetry provides access to faster electrode kinetics than direct current (dc) methods. However, difficulties in ac and other methods arise when the heterogeneous electron-transfer rate constant (k0) approaches the reversible limit, because the voltammetric characteristics become insensitive to electrode kinetics. Thus, in this near-reversible regime, even small uncertainties associated with bulk concentration (C), diffusion coefficient (D), electrode area (A), and uncompensated resistance (Ru) can lead to significant systematic error in the determination of k0. In this study, we have introduced a kinetically sensitive dual-frequency designer waveform into the Fourier-transformed large-amplitude alternating current (FTAC) voltammetric method that is made up of two sine waves having the same amplitude but with different frequencies (e.g., 37 and 615 Hz) superimposed onto a dc ramp to quantify the close-to-reversible Fc0/+ process (Fc = ferrocene) in two nonhaloaluminate ionic liquids. The concept is that from a single experiment the lower-frequency data set, collected on a time scale where the target process is reversible, can be used as an internal reference to calibrate A, D, C, and Ru. These calibrated values are then used to calculate k0 from analysis of the harmonics of the higher-frequency data set, where the target process is quasi-reversible. With this approach, k0 values of 0.28 and 0.11 cm·s-1 have been obtained at a 50 μm diameter platinum microdisk electrode for the close-to-diffusion-controlled Fc0/+ process in two ionic liquids, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2374
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2016

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