2019 Physical Chemistry (Electrochemistry)

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Matsumoto Hidetoshi 
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Course description and aims

This course deals with electrolyte solution, equilibrium electrochemistry, and electrode surface process, which provide fundamental knowledge to understand electrochemical reaction, and recent applications including fuel cells and energy storage devices.

Student learning outcomes

Electrochemical cells and electrochemical measurements are based on redox reactions at electrode-electrolyte solution interface. This course facilitates student's understanding of thermodynamic fundamentals of redox reactions, which involve the transfer of electrons between species.


Electrolyte solution, Diffusion of ions, Electrochemical cell, Electromotive force, Electrode surface process, Electrochemical measurement

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems assigned during the previous class are reviewed. Towards the end of class, students are given exercise problems related to what is taught on that day to solve. Before coming to class, students should read the course schedule and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Thermodynamic Description of Ions in Solution Understand ionic activity, ionic atmosphere, and the Debye-Hückel theory.
Class 2 Motion of Ions in Solution Understand the Kohlrausch's law, the Stokes' law, ionic mobility, ionic conductivity, and transport number.
Class 3 Equilibrium Electrochemistry I Understand electrochemical cell, half-reaction, and the Nernst equation.
Class 4 Equilibrium Electrochemistry II Understand standard potential and its application, equilibrium constant of cell reaction.
Class 5 Electrode-Solution Interface Understand diffuse double layer and Butler-Volmer equation.
Class 6 Electrochemical Measurements Understand voltammetry and chronopotentiometry.
Class 7 Applications Understand energy density and power density. Explain applications such as fuel cell, redox-flow battery, and Li ion secondary battery.
Class 8 Summary Review the course contents.


Peter Atkins, Julio de Paula, Atkins' Physical Chemistry, first and last volumes, 10th Ed., Chapters 5, 6, 19, 21, Tokyo: Tokyo Kagaku Dojin, ISBN: 978-4-8079-0908-7, ISBN: 978-4-8079-0909-4

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Materials used in class can be found on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of electrolyte solution, equilibrium electrochemistry and electrode surface process, and their ability to apply them to problems will be assessed. Student's course scores are based on a term-end exam (80%) and exercise problems (20%).

Related courses

  • MAT.P204 : Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics)

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses is desirable.

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