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Electrochemical Writing

From Solar Spark, this practical activity explores the reactions at electrodes in an electrical circuit. A solar cell contains two electrodes. Different reactions happen at each electrode so that electrons can move around the circuit to give an electric current. In this experiment students use filter paper soaked in sodium chloride solution to investigate the process of electrolysis.

Solar cells use two electrodes, one where oxidation occurs and one where reduction occurs. In this activity, the battery is providing the energy to cause the oxidation and reduction reactions but in a photovoltaic cell, the sun’s energy causes this to happen in order to create a current and make electricity. In an excitonic solar cell, the sun oxidises a light-absorbing polymer or dye at the working electrode.

This activity can be used to illustrate:
* electrolysis
* oxidation
* reduction
* energy transfer

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