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Rev Sci Instrum. 2014 Oct;85(10):104101. doi: 10.1063/1.4896755.

Coupling of a scanning flow cell with online electrochemical mass spectrometry for screening of reaction selectivity.

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Department of Interface Chemistry and Surface Engineering, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max-Planck-Strasse 1, 40237 Düsseldorf, Germany.


In this work the online coupling of a miniaturized electrochemical scanning flow cell (SFC) to a mass spectrometer is introduced. The system is designed for the determination of reaction products in dependence of the applied potential and/or current regime as well as fast and automated change of the sample. The reaction products evaporate through a hydrophobic PTFE membrane into a small vacuum probe, which is positioned only 50-100 μm away from the electrode surface. The probe is implemented into the SFC and directly connected to the mass spectrometer. This unique configuration enables fast parameter screening for complex electrochemical reactions, including investigation of operation conditions, composition of electrolyte, and material composition. The technical developments of the system are validated by initial measurements of hydrogen evolution during water electrolysis and electrochemical reduction of CO2 to various products, showcasing the high potential for systematic combinatorial screening by this approach.


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