Richard Compton, Christopher Batchelor-McAuley and Edmund Dickinson
Imperial College Press
2012 | 250pp | £30 (PB)
ISBN 9781848167315

‘First we’ll make enough sausages and then we won’t have any dissidents.’ This simple quote from Yuri Andropov (former head of the KGB) was the opening line of the 2nd edition of Understanding voltammetry, published in 2011. One can assume that this new companion volume Understanding voltammetry: problems and solutions now supplies the bread and tomato sauce.

Any book dedicated to voltammetry and written by Compton and his colleagues is worth a look and this one is no exception. It aims to provide the reader with sufficient knowledge to design their own voltammetric experiments through several examples that are presented as problems and solutions. The problems are a mix of quantitative and qualitative, theoretically and experimentally orientated. The solutions are always detailed, calling upon the relevant theory and referring to appropriate literature. There are often a few lines added on the important points that may need particular care. Overall, 147 problems are described in this way, covering a wide range of areas and applications that make this book very appealing.

The electrochemical basics are first presented with equilibrium cells (thermodynamics), electron transfer rate (kinetics) and diffusion processes (mass transport). This is followed by cyclic voltammetry at macroelectrodes, voltammetry at microelectrodes and at heterogeneous surfaces, voltammetry at hydrodynamic electrodes and the basics of electroanalysis.

The book ends with two chapters on contemporary subjects: voltammetry at the nanoscale and voltammetry in weakly supported media. The presentation of the relevant theory through real cases is undoubtedly one of the main characteristics, which makes this book of real interest, particularly for students but also to more experienced scientists.

Although this volume is a complement to the textbook cited above, it can stand alone and may become one of those books that you keep returning to. Also suitable for vegetarians.

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