529-0659-00L  Electrochemistry: Fundamentals, Cells & Applications

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersL. Gubler
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


529-0659-00 GElectrochemistry: Fundamentals, Cells & Applications3 hrs
Mon08:45-11:30HPT C 103 »
L. Gubler

Catalogue data

AbstractIntroduction to electrochemistry from a physical chemistry point of view, focusing on thermodynamics & kinetics of electrochemical reactions, and engineering aspects of electrochemical cells. The topics are of generic nature yet also discussed in the context of specific applications in industrial electrochemistry, energy storage and conversion, electroanalytical techniques, sensors and corrosion.
ObjectiveThe course establishes the fundamentals to understand and describe electrochemical reactions and phenomena related to these. The students are familiarized with key concepts and approaches in electrochemistry and selected aspects of materials science and engineering and how they are put to use in selected applications.
Content- Introduction: important quantities & units, terminology;

- Chapter I - Redox reactions, Faraday’s laws;

- Chapter II - Equilibrium electrochemistry:
cells, galvanic and electrolytic cells, thermodynamic state functions, theoretical cell voltage, half-cell / electrode potential, hydrogen electrode, the electrochemical series, Nernst equation;

- Chapter III - Electrodes & interfaces:
electrochemical potential, phase potentials, work function, Fermi level, the electrified interface, the electrochemical double layer, reference electrodes and laboratory cells;

- Chapter IV - Electrolytes:
conductivity, aqueous electrolytes, transference effects, liquid junctions, polymer electrolytes, ion-exchange membranes, Donnan exclusion, solid state ion conductors;

- Chapter V - Dynamic electrochemistry:
overpotentials, description of charge-transfer reaction, Butler-Volmer and Tafel equation, exchange current density, mass transport limitations;

- Chapter VI - Industrial electrochemistry:
electrochemical engineering, process and reactor types, current density distribution, porous electrodes, chlor-alkali and HCl electrolysis, oxygen depolarized cathode;

- Chapter VII - Energy storage & conversion:
important primary and secondary battery chemistries, fuel cells, polymer electrolyte fuel cells, low temperature H2 and O2 electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, triple-phase boundary, solid oxide fuel cell, conversion efficiency;

- Chapter VIII - Electroanalytical methods & sensors:
potentiometry, amperometry, cyclic and stripping voltammetry, rotating disc electrode studies, electrochemical sensors;

- Chapter IX - Corrosion:
corrosion reactions, Pourbaix diagram, corrosion potential, passivation, corrosion protection
Lecture noteslecture notes, lecture slides, exercise & solutions (PDF files)
Literature- C.H. Hamann, A. Hamnett, W. Vielstich, Electrochemistry, Wiley-VCH 2007 (2nd Edition), ISBN: 978-3-527-31069-2
[German version available as well]
- T.F. Fuller, J.N. Harb, Electrochemical Engineering, Wiley 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-00425-7
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents should be familiar with the fundamentals of physical chemistry.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits6 credits
ExaminersL. Gubler
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 30 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationExam language is English.

provided (PDF for download) in the lecture:
– Periodic table of elements
– Electrochemical series

- Students can submit 13 exercises, which will be corrected and assessed (0-2 points).
- Students can also present solutions on the blackboard (2 points).
- If a score of >13 P is achieved, the student receives a grade bonus of 0.25 grade points.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Main linkCourse information
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Chemistry BachelorChemical Aspects of EnergyWInformation
Chemical and Bioengineering MasterEnvironment and EnergyWInformation
Materials Science MasterElective CoursesWInformation