Electrochemical Cells Lab Essay

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Determination of an Electrochemical Series In electrochemistry, a voltaic cell is a specially prepared system in which an oxidation-reduction reaction occurs spontaneously. This spontaneous reaction produces an easily measured electrical potential which has a positive value. Voltaic cells have a variety of uses and you commonly refer to them as a “battery”. Half-cells are normally produced by placing a piece of metal into a solution containing a cation of the metal (e.g., Cu metal in a solution of a soluble salt that releases Cu2+ or Cu+ into solution). In this micro-version of a voltaic cell, the half cell will be a small piece of metal placed into three drops of a solution on a piece of filter paper. The solution contains a cation of…show more content…
Be sure that there is a continuous trail of sodium or potassium nitrate between each circle and the center. You may have to periodically dampen the filter paper with sodium or potassium nitrate during the experiment. CAUTION: Handle these solutions with care. Some are poisonous and some cause hard to remove stains. If a spill occurs, tell your instructor. 6. Measure the potential of the first cell by connecting M1 to M2. This is done by bringing the positive terminal or lead of the voltmeter into contact with M1 (copper) and the negative terminal in contact with the other metal M2. If the voltage displayed in the meter is negative, then reverse the terminals. Recall that the + terminal is the cathode and that reduction takes place there, thus you are measuring oxidation potentials and will need to change their sign to report them as reduction potentials in Data Table 2. 7. With a positive voltage displayed, wait about five seconds to take a voltage reading and record the value in DATA TABLE 1. Be sure to press down on the metal piece in order to make good contact. Also record which metal is the positive terminal and which is negative. Use the same procedure to measure the potential of the other three cells , M1 to M3, M1 to M4, and M1 to M5, continuing to use M1 (copper) as the reference electrode, thus it remains connected to the positive terminal of the voltmeter and negative
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