Electron-transfer reactions at the plasma-liquid interface

J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Nov 9;133(44):17582-5. doi: 10.1021/ja207547b. Epub 2011 Oct 17.


Electrochemical reactions are normally initiated in solution by metal electrodes such as Pt, which are expensive and limited in supply. In this Communication, we demonstrate that an atmospheric-pressure microplasma can act as a gaseous, metal-free electrode to mediate electron-transfer reactions in aqueous solutions. Ferricyanide is reduced to ferrocyanide by plasma electrons, and the reduction rate is found to depend on discharge current. The ability to initiate and control electrochemical reactions at the plasma-liquid interface opens a new direction for electrochemistry based on interactions between gas-phase electrons and ionic solutions.