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The voltammetry and kinetics of the Ag|Ag+system (commonly used as a reference electrode material in both protic/aprotic and RTIL solvents) was studied in the room-temperature ionic liquid N-buty1-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, [C4mpyrr] [NTf2] on a 10 μm diameter Pt electrode. For the three silver salts investigated (AgOTf, AgNTf2, and AgNO3, where OTf- = trifluoromethanesulfonate, NTf2-= bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, and NO3-= nitrate), the voltammetry gave rise to a redox couple characteristic of a "deposition/stripping" process at the platinum electrode surface. Using potential step chronoamperometry, the diffusion coefficients of AgOTf, AgNTf2, and AgNO3were found to be 1.05, 1.17, and 5.00 × 10-11m2s-1. All three voltammograms were theoretically modeled to reveal surprisingly slow standard electrochemical rate constants, k0, of 2.0, 1.5, and 0.19 × 10-4cm s-1respectively for the Ag+|Ag0couple. As a potentially faster alternative to the Ag|Ag+system, the voltammetry and kinetics of the TMPD|TMPD+system (where TMPD = N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p- phenylenediamine) was also studied, using neutral TMPD and two TMPD radical cation salts, with BF4-and NTf2-counter anions. Diffusion coefficients for TMPD, TMPD+BF4-, and TMPD+NTf2-were calculated to be 1.84, 1.35, and 1.43 × 10-11m2s-1respectively, and a k0value of 2.6-2.8 × 10-3cm s-1was obtained from theoretical fitting of the cyclic voltammetry. This number is an order of magnitude larger than that for the Ag|Ag+system, allowing for the suggestion that the TMPD|TMPD+system may be more suitable than the Ag|Ag+system as a redox couple for use in reference electrodes for ionic liquids. © 2007 American Chemical Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Publication Date





13957 - 13966