Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1991, 56, 112-129

Polarizability and nonpolarizability of oil-water interfaces with relevance to a.c. impendance measurements

Takashi Kakiuchi and Mitsugi Senda

Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606, Japan


We have estimated the degree of polarizability of a polarized oil-water interface used as a working interface and that of the nonpolarizability of a nonpolarized interface used as a reference oil-water interface from the numerical calculation of dc and ac current vs potential behavior at both interfaces. Theoretical equations of dc and ac currents for simultaneous cation and anion transfer of supporting electrolytes have been derived for the planar stationary interface for reversible and quasi-reversible cases. In the derivation, the migration effect and the coupling of the cation and anion transfer have been incorporated. The transfer of ions constituting a supporting electrolyte contributes to the total admittance of the interface even in the region where the interface may be considered as polarized in dc sense, as pointed out first by Samec et al. (J. Electroanal. Chem. 126, 121 (1981)). Moreover, the reference oil-water interface is not ideally reversible, so that the contribution from this interface to the measured admittance cannot be negligible, unless the area of the reference oil-water interface is much larger than that of the working oil-water interface. The effect of non-ideality of the reference oil-water interface on the determination of double layer capacitances and kinetic parameters of charge transfer at the working oil-water interface has been estimated.