What is it?
Cyclic voltammetry measures the current (rate of electron flow) versus a varying applied potential (voltage or energy of electrons). The applied potential is the difference in energy of the working and reference electrodes, measured in volts (V) or millivolts (mV). Cyclic voltammetry is used to characterize how easily a compound is able to lose or accept an electron (i.e. undergo oxidation or reduction). It can be used to determine if these redox reactions are reversible, and to study the mechanism by which the reactions take place.
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The Cyclic Voltammetry instrument at Bowdoin is used by students taking the Inorganic Chemistry course and by students who need to characterize the redox properties of a compound as part of their research.