The kinetics of neutral methyl viologen in acidic H2O + DMF mixed solutions studied by cyclic voltammetry

Ji Yoen Kim, Chongmok Lee, Joon Woo Park

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22 Scopus citations


The chemistry of the two-electron reduction product of viologen (1,1′-dialkyl-4,4′-bipyridinium, V2+) neutral species, is important in understanding the electrochemical behavior of viologens and their utilization. The kinetics for the reactions of neutral methyl viologen (V0) in the presence of H+ (from HCl), CH3COOH (pKa = 4.75), ClCH2CH2COOH (pKa = 4.00), HCOOH (pKa = 3.75) in aqueous media was examined by cyclic voltammetry according to the EECi mechanism. To avoid the electrodeposition of V0, we used a 9:1 (v/v%) H2O + DMF mixture as the solvent medium. To evaluate the rate constants for the chemical reaction followed by the second electron transfer step of V2+, the ratio of the anodic and cathodic peak current (Ipa2/Ipc2) corresponding to V0-e-⇄V·+ was plotted against log τ, where τ is the time between E1/2 and the switching potential, at various scan rates of 0.02-3.5 V s-1. The chemical reaction was found to be a parallel reaction consisting of H+-catalyzed and general-acid (HA) catalyzed reactions. The second-order rate constants are determined as kH+ = 3.5 × 103 M-1 s-1, kCH3COOH = 5.7 M-1 s-1, kHCOOH = 4.6 × 101 M-1 s-1, and kClCH2CH2COOH = 3.2 × 101 M-1 s-1 using the Nicholson-Shain method and kH2O was estimated as < 3 × 10-6 M-1 s-1. The CVs were digitally simulated under the assumption of a two-step reaction of V0 following the two-step electrode reactions of V2+ to V0. The simulated CVs show good agreement with those obtained experimentally, when the first-step reaction of V0 is a relatively fast reversible reaction and the second-step reaction is a slow irreversible one. Based on these results, we propose that V0 is in pseudo-equilibrium with H+ or HA to produce VH+ which undergoes a reaction with H2O.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support of this research by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF 96-0501-05-01-3) and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea through the Basic Science Research Institute Program (BSRI-98-3427) is greatly acknowledged.


  • Cyclic voltammetry
  • Digital simulation
  • Kinetics
  • Neutral viologen
  • Rate constant


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