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Northeastern University Electroanalytical Chemistry Course

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Chem 5614: Electroanalytical Chemistry
Northeastern University
Monday: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST

This Northeastern University course covers fundamental electrochemistry augmented by asynchronously scheduled on-line operation of potentiostat/galvanostats for experiential study of impedance spectroscopy, galvanic and electrolytic processes exemplified by lithium ion, lead acid and nickel metal hydride batteries. For those interested in registering for the fall semester go to:

: https://registrar.northeastern.edu/article/non-matriculated-registration/

What makes Chem 5614 unique?
In addition to on-line lectures, available worldwide, the course provides hands-on (internet operation) use of potentiostat/galvanostats for study of a variety of chemistries provided by commercially available batteries.  

Course Description: Describes the theory of electrode processes and modern electroanalytical experiments. Topics include the nature of the electrode-solution interface (double layer models), mass transfer (diffusion, migration, and convection), types of electrodes, reference electrodes, junction potentials, kinetics of electrode reactions, controlled potential methods (cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry), chronocoulometry and square wave voltammetry, and controlled current methods (chronopotentiometry).

Textbook: A. J. Bard and Larry R. Faulkner, “Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications” John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2nd Edition, 2001

Suggested reading: Kirby W. Beard, “Linden’s Handbook of Batteries,” 5th Edition, McGraw Hill, 2019 All homework problems are from Bard and Faulkner.

Prerequisites:  Although there are no formal prerequisites, a knowledge of basic physical chemistry is assumed. This course targets senior undergraduates and beginning graduate students.

Grading:  9 homework assignment (lowest score dropped) at 10 points each; 3 Quizzes at 30 points each.  Total points: 170 points.  Grading will be based on scaling 100% to the top score (TS):  A  90 – 100% of TS; B  80 – 89% of TS; C  70 – 79% of TS; D 60 – 69% of TS. For example, if the top score is 78% then 69.4% is a B+. Industrial students that register for Chem 5614 as auditors are not required to take exams or submit homework.

Learning objectives:

  1. The mathematical theory underlying thermodynamics, electron-transfer kinetics and mass transport relevant to electrochemical systems.
  2. Integration of underlying concepts for treatment of electroanalytical methods, double layer structure and adsorption processes.
  3. Applications of electroanalytical methods to the analysis of galvanic and electrolytic processes. 

Students will be able to broadly apply underlying theories to electroanalysis of emerging technologies. Examples of on-line experiments performed by students are available at the following links:

1. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy on a Randles cell and commercial batteries

2. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy of a Lithium Ion Battery

Eugene Smotkin is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Chemical Biology and a founder of NuVant Systems Inc.  Gene’s academic focus is computational and experimental vibrational spectroscopy of solid polymer electrolytes, non-faradaic electrochemical processes and operando spectroscopy of electrochemical devices.