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What does the reference electrode do?
Action: A reference electrode for measuring the potential of the electrodes at which these reactions occur. The electrode being measured is called the working electrode, and the electrode opposite the working electrode is called the auxiliary electrode.
In the three-electrode method, in order to measure the voltage between the reference electrode and the study electrode, and adjust the potential of the study electrode at will, the most ideal equipment is a potentiostat with automatic adjustment function.
The reference electrode should generally meet the following three conditions:
(1) Reversible electrode with known and stable electrode potential and good reproducibility. In other words, the exchange current density of the electrode process is quite high, and the electrode is not polarized or difficult to be polarized, so the thermodynamic equilibrium potential can be rapidly established, and the electrode potential conforms to the Nernst equation.
(2) The electrolyte in the reference electrode does not react with the electrolyte or other substances in the electrolytic cell;
(3) The temperature coefficient of electrode potential is small and it is little affected by temperature fluctuation;