Electrochemistry of a single attoliter emulsion droplet in collisions

Byung Kwon Kim, Jiyeon Kim, Allen J. Bard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


We report here the electrochemistry of emulsion droplets by observing single emulsion droplet collisions with selective electrochemical reduction on an ultramicroelectrode (UME). With appropriately applied potentials at an UME, we can observe the electrochemical effects of single collision signals from the complete electrolysis of single emulsion droplets, or selective electrolysis of redox species in single emulsion droplets. This was observed with nitrobenzene (NB), 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ), and ionic liquid. The NB, TCNQ, and ionic liquid act as emulsion material, redox specie, and emulsifier (and electrolyte), respectively. NB emulsions and NB (TCNQ) emulsions were made by ultrasonic processing. During the amperometric current-time (i-t) curve measurement with NB/water emulsion at -0.65 V, reduction of NB emulsion droplets was measured. In the case of less negative potentials, e.g., at -0.45 V with a NB (TCNQ) emulsion, selective reduction of TCNQ in NB droplet was measured. Spike-like responses from electrolysis of NB or TCNQ in each experiment were observed. From these single-particle collision results of NB and NB (TCNQ) emulsions, the collision frequency, size distribution, i-t decay behavior of emulsion droplets, and possible mechanisms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2343-2349
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2015

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© 2015 American Chemical Society.


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