Online ISSN : 1347-5320
Print ISSN : 1345-9678
ISSN-L : 1345-9678
Measurement of pH in a Thin Electrolyte Droplet Using the Kelvin Probe Technique
Saya AjitoEiji TadaAzusa OoiAtsushi Nishikata
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2019 Volume 60 Issue 4 Pages 531-537


In this study, pH measurement was performed in a thin electrolyte droplet with a thickness <1000 µm by the measurement of the equilibrium electrode potential of an Sb/SbxOy electrode used as a pH sensor. The equilibrium potential of the Sb/SbxOy electrode was evaluated by using the Kelvin probe (KP) technique. To investigate the potential response of the Sb electrode in a thin electrolyte droplet, the dependency of the Volta potential difference between the Sb and a gold wire as a KP on electrolyte droplet thickness was measured. The Volta potential difference had a linear response with respect to the buffer solution pH, independent of the droplet thickness. This result indicates that the KP technique, combined with an Sb electrode, is sensitive to the pH of a thin electrolyte droplet of thickness ≥50 µm. This pH measurement technique was also applied to measure pH in a corrosion model of steel. The corrosion model consisted of two steel plates in the same plane as the anode and cathode, with a constant current between them. During the corrosion process, the pH value decreased from 6 to 5 near the anode and increased from 6 to 12 at the cathode. The changes in pH measured in the thin electrolyte droplet were in good agreement with the color changes of the solution containing pH indicators.

Fig. 7 Changes in (a) the applied current density between the steels, (b) the potentials of the anode and cathode sides of the steel, and (c) the pH near the steel. Fullsize Image
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© 2019 The Japan Institute of Metals and Materials
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