Revisiting Thin-Layer Electrochemistry in a Chip-Type Cell for the Study of Electroorganic Reactions

13 September 2021, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


It is important but challenging to elucidate the electrochemical reaction mechanisms of organic compounds using electroanalytical methods. Particularly, a rapid and straightforward method may be helpful if it can provide information on reaction intermediates or other key electrochemical parameters. In this work, we exploited the advantages of classic thin-layer electrochemistry to develop a thin-layer electroanalysis microchip (TEAM). TEAM provided better resolved voltammetric peaks than under semi-infinite diffusion condition owing to the small height. Importantly, rapid and accurate determination of the number of electrons transferred, n, was enabled by mechanically confining the microliter-scale volume analyte at the electrode, while securing ionic conduction using polyelectrolyte gels. The performance of the TEAM was validated using voltammetry and coulometry of standard redox couples. Utilizing TEAM, a (spectro)electrochemical analysis of FM 1-43, an organic dye widely used in neuroscience, was successfully performed. It was also applied to study the electrochemical oxidation mechanism of pivanilides and alkyltrifluoroborate salts with different substituents and solvents. This work suggests the TEAM as a promising tool to provide invaluable mechanistic information and promote the rational design of electrosynthetic strategies.


thin-layer electrochemistry
thin-layer electroanalytical chip
electrochemical oxidation mechanism
number of electrons
FM 1-43
alkyltrifluoroborate salts
electroorganic chemistry

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Information
Experimental details; additional simulation data and explanation; cross-sectional diagram of TEAM; synthetic scheme of pLA-TFPB, peak-to-peak separation of ferrocyanide CVs; n–t plot without polyelectrolyte gel; CVs of Fc, FM1-43, and 4-MePhNHPiv with semi-infinite diffusion; summary of oxidation potential and n.
Video S1
Video of simulated concentration profile change in the thin-layer cell. Blue: R, Red: O, Green: O'


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