The Chemical Educator, Vol. 7, No. 2, S1430-4171(02)02552-3, 10.1007/s00897020552a © 2002 Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.
Fundamentals of Electroanalytical Chemistry. ByPaul M. S. Monk, John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, England. 384 pp. £34.95. ISBN 0471 88140 6.
Julea Butt, School of Chemical Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, J.Butt@uea.ac.uk
The series of texts Analytical Techniques in the Sciences aims to provide a teaching resource for people unable to take advantage of more conventional methods of education in analytical methods. Fundamentals of Electroanalytical Chemistry discusses this wide-ranging subject around a series of discussion questions. After familiarization with the response to these discussion questions, the reader can assess their understanding of the material covered through self-assessment questions which are interspersed frequently throughout the book. These questions serve to reinforce the concepts under discussion, and succinct answers are provided at the end of the text. Given the aims of the series it is a complement to the book that working one's way through the text is similar to participating in a series of informal workshops on electroanalytical methods.
The book begins with two chapters that provide an overview of the concepts of electron transfer, current, and electrochemical potential. Chapter 3 discusses the principles of equilibrium electroanalysis in some detail, and it leads up to a description of proton- and fluoride-selective electrodes. The chapters on dynamic electrochemistry begin with an introduction to coulometry and diffusion-controlled mass transport. Methods that include chronoamperometry and cyclic and pulsed voltammetries are then discussed, and a comparison of these methods is presented. This section of the book is completed with a description of voltammetry under convection control and finally electrode kinetics.
The closing chapters of the book address topics such as electrode preparation, spectroelectrochemistry, data processing, and Web-based resources. Given that the book is intended for students unable to access conventional education it was a little disappointing that more extensive use was not made of cross-referencing. A number of concepts were introduced in a cursory yet advanced level at the beginning of the book, and this left a number of questions unanswered. These questions were answered on reading through later sections of the book but were not easily located in the index.
This book provides a useful companion to standard and advanced texts in the subject area and for which the author provides an extensive bibliography. The book is well-presented with clear and helpful illustrations. In addition to discussion of the usual aspects of electroanalysis, it includes mention of the problems often encountered in practical electroanalysis. The latter is not only informative but serves to reinforce many of the principles underlying such measurements. While it is aimed at students without access to conventional education, the book will undoubtedly also prove to be a valuable study aid for undergraduate students taking more conventional courses in electroanalytical methods.