Cyclic voltammetry is the electrochemical equivalent of spectroscopy. It is the single most powerful tool for examining the electrochemical properties of a chemical substance or material. Beginners have difficulty with cyclic voltammetry because it provides so much information in a format unusual to most chemists. Both thermodynamic and kinetic information are available in a single experiment.
One can learn things about the rates of electron transfer between substances and electrodes and one can also learn about the rates and nature of chemical processes coupled to the electron transfer event. The properties of both reactants and products can frequently be discerned from a single voltammogram, or from a series of voltammograms obtained as a function of scan rate, concentration, pH, solvent type, temperature, and so forth.
BASi® CV instrumentation manuals includes a brief introduction to the principles of cyclic voltammetry. As for many other subjects, this one is best learned by example. Therefore we are providing this collection of CV Notes. From the wide variety of examples given, the power of cyclic voltammetry should soon reveal itself to anyone with a serious interest in redox chemistry either for fundamental or for analytical purposes.