The Chemical Educator, Vol. 7, No. 3, S1430-4171(02)03566-9, 10.1007/s00897020566a, 2002 Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.


Analytical Electrochemistry, Second Edition. By J. Wang, John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, England. 53.95. 207 pp. ISBN 0471-282272-3.

Nathan S. Lawrence, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QZ, UK, nathan.lawrence@sjc.ox.ac.uk

Analytical Electrochemistry covers the growth and development of electroanalytical chemistry over the past few years, with a significant emphasis on analytical aspects of the work rather than the more fundamental physical electrochemistry. The text is split into six easy-to-read and well-referenced chapters. Each chapter is complimented with worked examples and ten to twelve revision questions, which provide an excellent means for the self-teaching of electroanalytical protocols.

The introductory chapter provides an insight into the fundamental principles of interfacial electrochemistry, including electron-transfer kinetics, mass-transport-controlled reactions, and an explanation of the processes occurring at the electrical double layer. The second chapter details the use of cyclic voltammetry and its use in the study of electrode reaction mechanisms, both in solution and adsorption processes. This chapter includes a detailed table that illustrates the various mechanisms that can occur and be observed using cyclic voltammetry; however, this would be more valuable if real-life examples of each reaction process were given in the table rather than being scattered through the text. The chapter then moves on to an enlightening and informative discussion of the coupling of electrochemistry with spectroscopy, surface-imaging techniques, and the quartz-crystal microbalance, and how combining these techniques can help to elucidate electrochemical processes.

After the first two chapters have given an insight into the fundamental basis of electrochemistry and how it can be utilized as a tool for understanding reaction kinetics, the third chapter introduces electroanalytical techniques in earnest, with the discussion of controlled-potential techniques. This gives rise to a brief but detailed review of all the various amperometric methodologies currently available to the analytical electrochemist.

Chapter 4 is perhaps the most useful chapter for the first-time experimentalist as it gives in-depth information on a range of classical electrode substrates and surface modifications currently available and an insight into where each can be applied. This, however, does seem to neglect some of the more recently utilized electrode materials. The book then moves on to discuss the use of potentiometry in electrochemical sensors. This section is well-written with a concise introduction to the principles of potentiometric measurements, followed by examples of its use in several ion-selective electrodes.

The final chapter consists of a succinct insight into the practical use of electrochemical sensors. The chapter is split into four main sections: electrochemical biosensing is discussed in the greatest depth, because of the range of techniques currently available in this important field of electrochemical sensing. Also included are sections on gas sensors, solid-state devices, and a brief mention of sensors capable of multiple applications. This chapter completes the text and thus brings the reader from the basics of electrochemistry in Chapter 1 up to present day research in the area of electroanalysis.

Overall the text is well-written and extremely informative, giving a concise overview of electroanalysis and the techniques available to the analytical community in general. It is a book which any chemist thinking of taking up the challenge of electroanalysis should read.