Coupled electrochemical reactions at bipolar microelectrodes and nanoelectrodes

  • Guerrette J
  • Oja S
  • Zhang B
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Here we report the voltammetric study of coupled electrochemical reactions on microelectrodes and nanoelectrodes in a closed bipolar cell. We use steady-state cyclic voltammetry to discuss the overall voltammetric response of closed bipolar electrodes (BPEs) and understand its dependence on the concentration of redox species and electrode size. Much of the previous work in bipolar electroanalytical chemistry has focused on the use of an "open" cell with the BPE located in an open microchannel. A closed BPE, on the other hand, has two poles placed in separate compartments and has remained relatively unexplored in this field. In this work, we demonstrated that carbon-fiber microelectrodes when backfilled with an electrolyte to establish conductivity are closed BPEs. The coupling between the oxidation reaction, e.g., dopamine oxidation, on the carbon disk/cylinder and the reduction of oxygen on the interior fiber is likely to be responsible for the conductivity. We also demonstrated the ability to quantitatively measure voltammetric properties of both the cathodic and anodic poles in a closed bipolar cell from a single cyclic voltammetry (CV) scan. It was found that "secondary" reactions such as oxygen reduction play an important role in this process. We also described the fabrication and use of Pt bipolar nanoelectrodes which may serve as a useful platform for future advances in nanoscale bipolar electrochemistry.

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  • Joshua P. Guerrette

  • Stephen M. Oja

  • Bo Zhang

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