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The University of Southampton

Electrochemistry Summer School 2011 Event

12:00 - 12:30
26 June 2011 - 1 July 2011
School of Chemistry, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Dr Guy Denuault on +44 (0)23 8059 2154 or email .

Event details

Instrumental Methods in Electrochemistry - A one week residential course

Overview - Course Structure - Experiments - Programme
Social Programme - Accomodation and Transport - Fees
Speakers, Venue & Contact Details


The Electrochemistry SummerSchool is a one-week residential course that has been organised almost yearly since 1969 by the Electrochemistry Group at Southampton University. Although the course is held in Southampton, it has been run in Canada, United States, Argentina and China. More than 1000 delegates have attended the course. In 1985, the Southampton Electrochemistry Group edited the course notes and published a book entitled "Instrumental Methods in Electrochemistry". Many research collaborations have evolved from informal discussions at the Summer School.


Course Structure

The course comprises a combination of lectures and laboratory work. The objective is to teach the application of modern electrochemical techniques to problems in Chemistry, Biology, Sensors, Materials Science and Industrial Processing.

The course commences at 09.00 each day with two 40-minute lectures, followed by a break for coffee, then another two lectures. The laboratory period starts after lunch. You will carry out one experiment per day and we will do our best to allocate you the experiment you have chosen. The experiments are usually carried out in groups of 3 or 4 with a demonstrator to show you the instrumentation and to discuss both the design of the experiment and the interpretation of the results. On Friday, there are no lectures; the laboratory period will commence at 8:45 and you will be able to leave early afternoon. The course offers plenty of opportunities to discuss any electrochemical problems with members of the Southampton Group.

Participants receive hard and pdf copies of all overheads used in the course as well as a copy of an electrochemistry textbook.


Experiments (Provisional)

Hands on practicals with a choice of 5 out of 12 experiments using state of the art PC driven instruments from leading manufacturers.

  1. Cyclic Voltammetry (I) - Surface Reactions: Cyclic voltammetry will be used to examine surface changes at electrodes. Adsorption and oxide formation on gold and platinum, as well as the redox cycling of polyaniline, will be considered.
  2. Cyclic Voltammetry (II) - Solution Reactions: Cyclic voltammetric measurements provide a simple diagnostic method for the preliminary study of homogeneous reactions coupled to redox processes. In this experiment, the electrochemistry of ferrocene monocarboxylic acid is first investigated, followed by a study of its use as a homogeneous mediation for the oxidation of glucose oxidase and enzyme used in blood glucose measurement.
  3. Numerical simulations of electrochemical processes: This experiment uses a commercial simulation package (DigiSim) to simulate both simple electron transfer reactions and complex mechanisms with coupled homogeneous chemical reaction. The aim is to investigate how the rates of electron transfer and chemical kinetics alter the voltammetric behaviour at macro and microelectrodes. In the final part of the experiment, the simulation package is used to determine the mechanism for a reaction based on the analysis of experimental data provided. The experiment illustrates the underlying principles of voltammetry and the relationship between the concentration profiles and the measured currents.
  4. Fuel cells characterisation: Half cell testing of PEM fuel cell electrodes: In this experiment a Nafion bound PEM fuel cell electrode will be made from the ink using a spreading method. The electrochemically active area of the electrode will be determined using carbon monoxide oxidation. The activity of the electrode for methanol oxidation will be assessed from the polarisation curves.
  5. Rotating Disc Electrode: The rotating disc electrode allows control of the mass transport to the electrode. The rotation dependence of the reduction of Cu2+ to Cu+ and Cu0 will be investigated.
  6. Rotating Ring Disc Electrode: The configuration of the two working electrodes in a RRDE allows the detection at the ring of intermediates produced at the disc. The intermediate produced during the reduction of O2 at platinum will be investigated.
  7. Microelectrodes: This experiment highlights some of microelectrodes' properties: high rate of steady state mass transport, reduced iR drop distortion and improved discrimination against charging current. A range of microdiscs with diameters < 100 µm is used to study the oxidation of ferrocene in acetonitrile in presence and absence of supporting electrolyte by means of linear sweep voltammetry and fast cyclic voltammetry.
  8. A.C. Impedance Spectroscopy: The impedance of a simple redox system (ferro/ferricyanide) will be investigated to illustrate the technique and the interpretation of the results. The effect of reducing the supporting cation concentration will be explored.
  9. Characterisation of Electrochemical Materials: Electronic conductivity, ionic conductivity, diffusion coefficient and pseudo-capacitance are important parameters for the evaluation of electrochemical materials for many applications. This experiment will investigate the determination of these values by impedance and time domain techniques.
  10. Factors Determining Experimental Response: Electrochemistry relies, in most cases, on the measurement of either the current or the potential recorded at an electrode as a function of other physical parameters of the system. These measurements are subject to practical considerations, some of which will be highlighted in this experiment. Factors such as equipment response, uncompensated resistance, cell design and experiment design are demonstrated and simple counteractive measures suggested.
  11. Spectroelectrochemistry: In this experiment, we employ a UV-Vis diode array spectrometer interfaced to a potentiostat to monitor spectrophotometric changes of electroactive species with electrode potential. Specifically poly(aniline) (electrode bound) or 5,6-diaminouracil (solution species) will be studied at an optically transparent electrode (OTE, e.g. indium doped tin oxide).
  12. Electrodeposition of metals and Scanning Electron Microscopy: This experiment considers various aspects of metal electrodeposition. Emphasis is given to the experimental conditions and electrochemical techniques available to study the deposition. The relationship between platting conditions and the deposit morphology will be investigated with a scanning electron microscope



To be announced


Social Programme (Provisional)

Although the days are quite full, we like to offer you some entertainment in the evening. The course starts on Sunday evening with registration and an informal buffet and reception at 19:30. On Monday evening, a trip to the historic town of Winchester has been arranged. On this occasion, you will be expected to purchase your own evening meal. On Thursday evening, there will be a formal course dinner which we hope all will attend. Please note that the cost of the evening reception and formal dinner are included in the fee. Transport to all functions is by coach (cost included in the fee). Lunch and morning/afternoon coffee/tea and biscuits are provided (cost included in the fee).


Accomodation and Transport

Accommodation is not included in the course fee. Delegates will be expected to make their own reservation via the hotel website.

The Summer School hotels are the Etap Hotel Southampton (~£40 / room / night + breakfast), the Hotel Ibis Southampton (£40 - £60 per room per night + breakfast) and the Novotel Southampton (£70 - £110 per room per night + breakfast). All three share a large car park and are located within a few minutes walking distance from the train station, coach station, shopping centres, harbour and city centre. A coach will transport delegates between these hotels and the University and to the social events (the cost of transport is included in the fee). The welcome reception will be held in one of the hotels, the lectures, lunches and practicals will take place at the School of Chemistry at the University.



The registration fee is £1200.

There is a discount of 10% if payment is made before 1 May 2011

The fees include lunches, teas / coffees, welcome reception, course dinner, transport, electrochemistry textbook, lecture notes (hard and electronic copies) and laboratory scripts. Accommodation is not included in the course fees.


Speaker information

Professor Phil Bartlett

Dr Peter Birkin

Mr Alistair Clark

Dr Guy Denuault

Professor John Owen

Professor Derek Pletcher

Professor Andrea Russell

Professor Frank Walsh

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