Differential Pulse Voltammetry Purpose

Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) is used for both quantitative chemical analysis and to study the mechanism, kinetics, and thermodynamics of chemical reactions. It is often used with a Dropping Mercury Electrode (DME) or with a Static Mercury Drop Electrode (SMDE). When used with either of these electrodes it is often called Differential Pulse Polarography (DPP), although this name is often used for the general technique.

DPV used as an analytical tool offers advantages when compared to other electrochemical techniques. DPV is very sensitive, often allowing direct analyses at the ppb (parts per billion) level. When used in a stripping mode, ppt (parts per trillion) analyses are possible. DPV owes its sensitivity to the relatively short pulse time and its differential nature. The short pulse time increases the measured currents, while the differential measurement discriminates against background processes.

Other techniques, such as cyclic voltammetry, are generally preferred over DPV for mechanistic and kinetic studies. However, there are many references in the literature for mechanistic and kinetic studies using DPV.

DPV may be performed on a stationary solid electrode, on a rotated electrode, on an SMDE, or on a DME. The DPV script in the pulse voltammetry software provides for mercury-drop generation, solution deaeration, and experiment sequencing suitable for the most common applications for differential pulse voltammetry or polarography.

Choose the type of electrode using the Electrode Setup Panel.

Additional sequencing steps suitable for anodic (or cathodic) stripping are implemented in the pulse voltammetry’s DPS (differential pulse stripping) technique. If you wish to perform the DPV experiment on a hanging mercury drop (HMDE), use the DPS technique to automatically generate the single-mercury-drop generation signal at the start of the experiment.