The Use of Light in the Study of Interfacial Electrochemical Reactions


  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Gerischer

    Corresponding author
    1. Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Faradayweg 4–6, D-1000 Berlin 33
    • Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Faradayweg 4–6, D-1000 Berlin 33
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Spectroscopic analysis techniques have become particularly important in the study of interfacial electrochemical processes since it has become possible to increase their sensitivity to the extent where changes occurring in the absorption of light by fractions of monolayers can be detected. At the same time the development of new techniques in surface physics, though most of these can only be used in ultra-high vacuum, has also had a considerable influence on electrochemistry since it has enabled studies to be carried out on electrodes after transfer to UHV. The availability of well-defined semiconductors in which photocurrents can be generated by the absorption of light has led to the development of photoelectrochemical methods that can be used for the study of electrode reactions at semiconductors or at metal surfaces which are covered with a semiconducting film. Finally, it has been observed during the study of semiconductor electrodes that redox reactions at an electrode can result in the generation of luminescence. This, in turn, can lead to important information on the mechanism of the charge transfer process. These recent developments are reviewed in the present article.