Electrochemistry in media of exceptionally low polarity: Voltammetry with a fluorous solvent

Eric J. Olson, Paul G Boswell, Bradley L. Givot, Letitia J Yao, Phil Buhlmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This work demonstrates the first cyclic voltammetry in a perfluorocarbon solvent without use of a cosolvent. The novel electrolyte tetrabutylammonium tetrakis[3,5-bis(perfluorohexyl)phenyl]borate (NBu4BArF104; 80 mM) allows for voltammetry of ferrocene in perfluoro(methylcyclohexane) by lowering the specific resistance to 268 kΩ cm at 20.8 °C. Despite significant solution resistance, the resulting voltammograms can be fitted quantitatively without difficulty. The thus determined standard electron transfer rate constant, ko, for the oxidation of ferrocene in perfluoro(methylcyclohexane) is somewhat smaller than for many solvents commonly used in electrochemistry, but can be explained readily as the result of the viscosity and size of the solvent using Marcus theory. Dielectric dispersion spectroscopy verifies that addition of NBu4BArF104 does not significantly raise the overall polarity of the solution over that of neat perfluoro(methylcyclohexane).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2010


  • DOSY
  • Dielectric spectroscopy
  • Electrolyte
  • Ferrocene
  • Fluorous phase
  • Voltammetry


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