Circuit Analysis of Ionizing Surface Potential Measurements of Electrolyte Solutions

25 September 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Surface potential measurement values of the gas-liquid interface can be ambiguous despite the numerous electrochemical approaches used for quantification of the reported values. Calibration and normalization methods can be undefined, which often undermines the robustness of the reported values. Surface potential instrumentation and data interpretation also varies significantly across literature. Here, we propose a circuit model for an ionizing surface potential method based on the alpha decay of a radioactive americium-241 electrode. We evaluate the robustness of the circuit model for quantifying the surface potential at the air-aqueous interface. We then show successful validation of our circuit model through determination of the surface tension of the air-electrolyte interface with comparison to respective surface tension literature values. This validation reveals the reliability of surface potential measurements using the americium-241 ionizing method.


surface potential
interfacial potential
gas-liquid interfaces
air-electrolyte interface
electrochemical sensors
circuit model analysis
alpha particles
radioactive electrode
sodium chloride solution
surface science
electrical double layer
voltage measurement
high impedance system
regression analysis
surface tension


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