Cyclic Voltammetry Bootcamp

Professors Jillian Dempsey and Jeffrey Dick, in partnership with Pine Research are piloting a two-day Cyclic Voltammetry Bootcamp in Morehead Labs. The goal of the workshop was to provide participants with the practical knowledge necessary to carry out robust cyclic voltammetry measurements in their independent research.

The first morning, Dempsey and Dick delivered well-crafted lectures describing the basics of cyclic voltammetry measurements, including both theoretical and practical aspects. The lecture material was based on Dempsey's recent Journal of Chemical Education publication 'A Practical Beginner's Guide to Cyclic Voltammetry' and material from Dick's course 'Electroanalytical Chemistry.' In the afternoon, participants worked in pairs to complete a laboratory practical in which they gained proficiency in various skills.

On morning two, a short lecture covering more advanced cyclic voltammetry experiments was followed by a lab in which laboratory groups rotated between eight stations, at which they encountered experimental 'problems' they were forced to troubleshoot. In the afternoon, laboratory groups had a chance to select one of three advanced laboratories, including coupled chemical reactions, microelectrodes, and rotating disc electrochemistry.

This workshop aligns with the chemistry department's strategic mission to advance research. Across subdisciplines, chemists are more frequently turning to cyclic voltammetry and other electroanalytical techniques to advance science. For instance, organic chemistry is witnessing a revival of 'electrosynthesis' and inorganic chemists are rapidly forging ahead to develop molecular catalysts to mediate electrochemical fuel-producing reactions. However, many researchers in primarily organic, biological, and inorganic groups lack the formal training necessary to fully exploit the power of electrochemistry to advance their science. This lack of practical knowledge stymies research.

To address this gap in knowledge, Dempsey and Dick intend to share their expertise broadly across the department with the goal of equipping researchers with the practical skills necessary to confidently make electroanalytical measurements for their independent research projects. Moreover, after piloting Cyclic Voltammetry Bootcamp in 2019, the PIs intend to expand the workshop to three days and offer it to researchers around the country.

Cyclic Voltammetry Bootcamp will complement other electrochemistry camps offered by Case Western Reserve, University of Illinois Chicago, and Université Paris Diderot, but specialize in training organic, biological, and inorganic chemists.