Development of Inexpensive Graphitic Carbon Electrodes for Use Both as and in Undergraduate Chemistry Labs


  • Jonah Ralston


The purpose behind this experiment is ultimately to design cheap electrodes from materials one could buy from a hobby shop. Ultimately the electrodes produced should be cost-effective compared to commercially available electrodes for laboratory research. Cyclic voltammetry was performed to evaluate the performance of the in-house constructed electrodes. Based on the electrodes performance the design of the electrodes could be evaluated and compared to results from a commercially available model. Multiple electrodes were designed with different geometries and electroactive surface areas. Ideally the in-house built electrodes will perform similarly to commercially available models. These designs focus on the use of graphite for the electrode’s electroactive surface. This material was chosen based on reduction potential of graphitic carbon, and allows for a larger potential window than most noble metals. The ultimate goal is to design a cheap electrode from easily obtained materials that can produce results similar to those available commercially.