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Title: Computational electrochemistry
Author: Menshykau, Dzianis
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis addresses simulation of electrochemical experiments, with an emphasis on processes of diffusional mass transport to electrode surface. Following system has been studied: • Applying theoretical modeling and experimentation is shown that even significant surface roughness produced by deliberate polishing or scratching is not sufficient to be distinguished in cyclic voltammetry experiments conducted under the usual conditions. In stripping voltammetry experiment the shape of the voltammograms strongly depends on the model of the electron transfer but is not always sensitive to the precise model of the electrode surface; the conditions under which this is the case are identified, and generic roughness effects on stripping voltammetry are quantified. Electrode roughness can have a significant effect on the stripping of the metals from the solid electrode especially in respect of the voltammetric waveshape. • We first consider two different models of electrodes covered with electroinactive layers: the electrode is covered with a uniform layer and the layer contains pinholes. Both models are simulated and then compared to identify conditions under which they can be distinguished. Next we propose generic model to predict the influence of electroactive layer on the cyclic voltammetric. The conditions under which deviation from the behavior of a planar electrode are predicted. • We first consider one electron, one proton and next two electron, two proton reduction of surface bound species. Two mechanisms of reaction are considered: stepwise and concerted. Voltammetry studied under the three regimes of protons mass transport: infinitely fast (fully buffered solution), infinitely slow (infinitely high surface coverage of electrode) and intermediate case of finite rate of diffusional mass transport to electrode surface. Types of voltammograms observed in each case are presented and discussed. • Theory of chronoamperometry on disc and ring-recessed microelectrodes and their arrays is reported. Three and four different regimes of transient current versus time can be observed at microelectrode arrays of disc and ring electrodes, accordingly. A generic, accurate and easy to use method of experimental chronoamperometric data analysis is proposed. It is shown that the method can be applied to the simultaneous measurement of D and nC in solution. • The fabrication, characterization, and use of arrays of ring-recessed disk generator-colector microelectrodes are reported. Experiments and simulations relating to time- of-flight experiments in which material electrogenerated at a disk is diffusionally transported to the ring are reported. We further study voltammetry of electrochemically active species which undergoes first and second order chemical reactions. Current transients are found to be sensitive to the diffusion coefficient of both the reduced and oxidised species as well as to the rate of the chemical reaction and its mechanism.
Supervisor: Compton, Richard G. Sponsor: St John's College, University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemical kinetics ; Electrochemistry and electrolysis ; Physical & theoretical chemistry ; Structure of interfaces ; Surface chemistry ; Theoretical chemistry ; computational chemistry ; electrochemistry ; microelectrode ; array of microelectrodes ; ring electrode ; generator-collector electrods ; cyclic voltammetry ; chronoamperometry ; stripping voltammetry ; porous electrodes ; rough electrodes ; voltammetry of surface bound species ; proton-coupled electrochemical reduction ; pinhole diffusion ; through-film diffusion