Electrochemical determination of sulfur dioxide in air samples in

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Anal. Chem. 1987, 59,666-670

LITERATURE CITED (1) Granell, A.; Jagner, D.; Josefson, M. Anal. Chem. 1980, 5 2 , 2220-2223. (2) Wojciechowski. M.; Go, W.; Osteryoung, J. Anal. Chem. 1985, 5 7 , 155- 158. (3) Wang, J.; Dewald, D. H. Anal. Chern. 1984, 5 6 , 156-159. (4) Schulze, G.; Frenzel, W. Anal. Chim. Acta 1984, 759, 95-103. (5) Baranski, A. S.;Quon, H. Anal. Chem. 1988, 5 8 , 407-412. (6) Wehmeyer. K. R.; Wightman, R . M. Anal. Chem. 1985, 5 7 , 1989- 1993. (7) Shoup, D.; Szabo, A. J . Nectroanal. Chem. Interfacial Electrochem. 1982, 740, 237-245. (8) Aoki, K.; Osteryoung, J. J. Electroanal. Chem. Interfacial Electrochem. 1984, 160. 335-339. (9) Aoki, K.; Koji, A.; Koichi, T.; Hiroaki, M.; Osteryoung, J. J. Electroanal. Chern. Interfacial Electrochem. 1984, 777, 219-230. (10) Baranski, A. S. J. Electrochem. Soc. 1988, 733, 93-97. (11) Penczek, M.; Stojek, 2. J. Electroanal. Chem. Interfacial Electrochem. 1985, 797, 91-100. (12) Stojek, Z.; Kublik, 2 . Chem. Anal. (Warsaw) 1985, 3 0 , 363-368. (13) Ciszkowska, M.; Stojek, 2. J. Electroanal. Chem. Interfacial Electrochern. 1985, 797, 101-110. (14) Galus, Z. CRC Crit. Rev. Anal. Chem. 1974, 4 , 359-422.


z w



3 0


Figure 6. Subtractive stripping voltammogram of Cd and Pb obtained with a Hg-coated platinum microelectrode. Conditions are the same as in Figure 5 except that 5 X 10" M Zn2+ was added to the analyzed

solution. P t / H g microelectrodes may become an important tool in stripping analysis. This, however, will require more fundamental studies in the area of thermodynamics and kinetics of processes occurring in amalgams.

RECEIVED for review June 18,1986. Accepted October 1,1986. This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through the operating grant.

Electrochemical Determination of Sulfur Dioxide in Air Samples in a Closed-Loop Flow Injection System Angel Rios, M. D. Luque de Castro, and Miguel Valc&rcel*

Departamento de Quimica A n a l h a , Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Cbrdoba, CGrdoba, Spain Horacio A. Mottola*

Department of Chemistry, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Oklahoma 74078-0447

SO,(g) In air samples Is amperometrlcally determined in a closed-loop flow InJectlon system by dlrect Intercalation of the alr sample Into a carrier solutfon contalnlng the binuclear form of the Iron(111) complex wlth 1,lO-phenanthrollne actlng as a regenerable chemlcal probe. The extent of reductbn to the mononuclear Iron( I I ) complex, ferroln, by reaction at the gas/liquld Interface is amperometrically monitored wlth a three-electrode system at an applied potential of 0.964 V vs. Ag/AgCI reference electrode (working electrode, carbon paste). The ferroin produced In the reduction process Is electrochemically oxldlzed back to the binuclear Iron(I I I ) complex permitting the lmplementatlon of a closed-loop system wlth regeneration of the main reagent. By appllcatlon of a continuous-flow/stopped-flaw operatlon, SO,( g) can be determined In the range of 0.3-14.0 ppm (v/v) wlth relative standard deviations of about 3 % (11 repllcas) and at a rate of 25 samples per hour. By pretreatment of the carbon paste electrode with a surfactant solution, the same limit of detection can be achieved wlthout need for stopplng the sample plug, thus increasing the number of samples that can be determined per hour to 35.

Analytical methodologies applied to environmental problems requiring the manipulation of gaseous samples are

marred by the requirement of complicated procedures and complex instrumentation ( I ) . Unsegmented continuous-flow sample processing (e.g., flow injection analysis) has permitted the implementation of simplified procedures and sample handling situations of interest in environmental analysis of water and soil samples (2) as well as the determination of gaseous species taking advantage of chemical reactions at gas/solid and gaslliquid interfaces (3, 4 ) . The work reported here was aimed at evaluating electrochemical detection using a configuration similar to one reported earlier ( 4 ) . The redox couple constituted by the mononuclear complex of iron(I1) and the binuclear complex of iron(II1) with 1,lO-phenanthroline is used as a reversible chemical probe. The gaseous species reduces the iron(II1) complex to iron(I1) [the organic moiety remaining unaffected] and the extent of conversion, proportional to the concentration of SO2 in the sample, is amperometrically monitored at a carbon paste working electrode. A closed-loop continuous-flow system is used for sample/reagent transport; this system incorporates an electrolysis unit in the loop for the conversion of the ferroin form to the binuclear iron(II1) form. Electrochemical detection affords competitive limits of detection without the need for preconcentration (e.g., by a midget impinger ( 4 ) )for direct determination in samples of power plant plume and for industrial hygiene measurements. Direct measurement in ambient air samples is not possible since limits of detection at the parts-per-billion ( v / v ) level are

0003-2700/87/0359-0666$01.50/0 1987 American Chemical Society


in diameter and 9.5 cm tall. A thin platinum wire (6 cm in length and 1mm in diameter) was used as cathode. Return of the carrier solution to the reservoir was aided by a peristaltic pump to overcome the resistance to flow caused by the flow cell. Figure 1 shows a detailed sketch of the debubbler, a key component in the system. Flow conditions are adjusted such that the bulk of carrier solution flows through the closed-loop path and a minimal portion is allowed to partially fill the upper arm of the debubbler (’gas collecting arm”, 6 mm i.d.) (4). A small tube connected to the peristaltic pump and located at a fixed position in the side arm of the debubbler removes any excess solution that “invades”this arm and returns it to the reservoir container. This detail is critical for a correct functioning of the system since the aim is an efficient elimination of gas bubbles and a minimization of dispersion. The flow rates for entering and leaving the debubbler were 1.3-1.4 rnlernin-’ and 1.2 rnl-min-l, respectively.








t Flgure 1. (a)Closed-loop configuration for amperometric determination of SO,(aq) and SO,(g): peristaltic pump, Mlnipuls-2 (Gilson Medical Electronics, Inc., Middleton, WI); injection valve, Tecator L100-1 (Tecator, Inc., Herndon, VA). (b) Debubbler. (c) Details of amperometric flow cell.

required. It should be mentioned here that continuous coulometric analyzers for SOz in ambient air samples have been described (5). The sensitivity of the method proposed here can be improved by a stopped-flow/continuous-flowoperation in which the reacting sample plug is stopped in a mixing/ reaction coil located between the points of sample intercalation and reaction product detection. The same effect, and an increase in the number of samples processed per hour, is achieved by a surfactant (Triton X-100) pretreatment of the carbon paste surface used for detection. EXPERIMENTAL SECTION Reagents and Solutions. The recirculated carrier solution (100 mL in total volume) of di-phydroxy-bis[bis(l,lOphenanthroline)]iron(III), Le., the binuclear complex of iron(III), was prepared by electrolytic oxidation of a ferroin solution composed of 4.0 mL of a 0.025 M solution of ferroin (G. F. Smith Chemical Co., Columbus, OH) and 0.337 g of 1,lO-phenanthroline (Merck, AR grade), in about 96 mL of acetate buffer of pH 4.50 and 0.20 total acetate molarity and 1.0 M in KC1. Electrolytic conversion was accomplished as reported earlier (4). The solutions of S02(g)in air were prepared from compressed S02(g) and were standardized by reaction with iodine (6).Aqueous solutions of sodium sulfite (Merck, AR grade) were prepared in acetate buffer solutions of pH 4.50. Apparatus. A Metrohm E-506 potentiostat with built-in recording system was used through this work. The amperometric detection was accomplished at a Metrohm E 1096 cell with carbon paste electrode as working electrode, a silver/silver chloride reference electrode, and a glassy carbon electrode as counter (auxiliary) electrode. The carbon pastes were prepared by thorough mixing of UCP-1-M graphite powder from Ultra Carbon (Bay City, MI) with hexadecane (Aldrich Chemical Co., Milwaukee, WI) and/or high-vacuum grease from Dow Corning Corp. (Midland, MI). Operational Characteristics of the Hydrodynamic System. Details of the closed-loop configuration adopted in this work are given in Figure 1. Once the binuclear species has been electrochemically generated, and during the operation of the instrumental setup, the electrolysis unit is kept in operation in order to effect the regeneration of the main reagent. Controlled-potential electrolysis in the reservoir solution was carried out maintaining the anode potential at +1.10 V with respect to a saturated calomel electrode and a MP-1026 potentiostat-regulated power supply operated in the potentiostat mode (Pacific Precision Instruments, Concord, CA). The anode was a platinum gauze cylinder 3.2 cm

R E S U L T S A N D DISCUSSION The chemical basis for SO2determination is an exploitation of the reversible redox couple of the complexes of mononuclear iron(I1) and binuclear iron(II1) with 1,lO-phenanthroline. The binuclear iron(II1) complex (7) acts as the main reagent and is reduced to the mononuclear ferroin by the SOz [FeZ(phen),(OH).J4+


+ 2phen + SOz(g) 2[Fe(phen)JZ+ + 2H+ + SO?-



Oxidative electrochemical regeneration occurs according to 2[Fe(phen),I2+

+ 2Hz0


[Fez(phen),(OH)2]4+ Pphen

+ 2e-


The first of these two reactions takes place at the gas/liquid interface of the intercalated sample plug and carrier solution during transport to the detection unit; the second takes place a t the anode of the electrolysis unit. The electrochemical behavior of the complexes of iron(I1) and iron(II1) with 1,lO-phenanthroline has been recently studied in detail (8). Hydrodynamic voltammograms indicated that a potential of +0.964 V vs. the silver/silver chloride electrode provides a satisfactory difference between the currents for reagent and product species. This potential does not permit, however, the use of sulfate or nitrate as supporting electrolyte. Determination of Aqueous SO2 Solutions. Aqueous sulfur dioxide was determined by injection as SO-: under the following optimum experimental conditions: flow rate, 0.3 mL.min-’, length of reacting coil, 30 cm; sample volume, 184 pL. Under these conditions, SOz(aq) can be determined by use of calibration curves obeying the following equation: 1’(pA) = 0 . 3 1 4 C ~ ~ , ( ,-, ~0.087 (3) with CSO,(,~) expressing the concentration in parts per million (v/v) of SOz. A correlation coefficient of 0.9998 was observed. Good sensitivity (0.314 pA/ppm) and a wide concentration range (2-80 ppm) were also observed. The detection limit (defined as the average of the blank signal plus three times its standard deviation) was found to be 1.6 ppm, and a typical standard deviation value (for 11replicas) was *1.9% for 8.0 ppm SOz(aq). The number of determinations per hour is limited to 25 because of the low flow rate required, which results in relatively large dispersion (e.g., the time for return to base line for 8.0 ppm is almost 1 min). Determinations w i t h SOz(g). Injection of the gaseous sample was accomplished by adapting a septum to the injection valve allowing a syringe injection of the gaseous sample into the sample loop. Optimum conditions were found to be as follows: flow rate, 1.2 ml-min-l; length of reacting coil, 125 cm; sample volume, 198 ML. The volume of sample injected is related to the amount of liquid in the side arm of the debubbler. In this case, a volume of 0.22 mL was chosen, which assured that the plug formed with the ferroin produced




I min

Table I. Dependence of Signal Height on the Sample Volume of SOz(g)-Containing Sample sample volume, pI,

peak height, p A

sample volume, p L

peak height, p A

41.0 68.3 98.2

0.064 0.192 0.380

152.7 198.1 219.4

0.665 0.710

a) E



'Introduction of bubbles into the detection area was observed.

in the reaction is all transported to the detection point after elimination of the unreacted gas plug. Table I illustrates this point. Although the reaction coil is considerably larger than that used in the determination of SO,(aq), the higher flow rate compensates for the effect that such length has on dispersion. Under the reported conditions, SO,(g) can be determined from calibration curves with the following equation: LA) = O.369Cso2(,,

F t

+ 0.32

+ 0.572






A correlation coefficient of 0.9988 was observed. The concentration of gas is given in parts per million (v/v). The method can be applied in the 0.5-16 ppm concentration range with a detection limit of 0.38 ppm and relative standard deviations of 2-370. As many as 35 determinations can be made in 1 h with a sensitivity comparable to the one reported for SOz(aq). Better sensitivity can be obtained if a stopped-flow approach is adopted. Interruption of the flow is recommended when the reacting sample plug reaches the reaction coil. The effect of the length of time elapsed until the flow is reinitiated is illustrated in Figure 2. As this time increases, allowing more time for dissusion of SOz into the reacting layer, the signal height increases without detrimental effect on the dispersion. This effect is illustrated in a niore quantitative manner in Table 11. Stopping the flow for 60 s lowers the limit of detection to 0.3 ppm although the sample rate is decreased. After a stopping time of 30 s the working curves cross each other at about the same point (4.5 ppm) indicating that below about 4.5 ppm the optimum value for the stop time is 1 min but above such a concentration the optimum value is obtained a t longer stop times (see Figure 4). This would indicate that proportionally the same extent of reaction requires shorter reaction times at low concentrations of SO,(g). The curves illustrated in Figure 3 resemble kinetic signals vs. time profiles. In actuality, the initial rate, defined as Ai(pAl/At(min), follows the reationship initial rate = 0.591Cs,~,~,,



and the practical order with respect to analyte is 1. The relative standard deviation for 11 replicas containing 5.0 pprn (v/v) of SOz(g)was found to be 3.2% with a stop time of 30 s allowing a sample rate of 25 injections per hour. Detection with Pretreated Graphite Surfaces of Different Paste Composition. The resistance (conductivity) of carbon paste electrodes greatly depends on the paste composition and on the nature of the pasting oil. Treatment of

Flgure 2. Typical flow injection profiles obtained at different concentrations of SO,(g) in ppm (v/v), (A) blank inJection,(B) 1.2, (C) 2.3,(D) 4.2, (E) 6.9, and (F) 8.0, and at different stop times in the mixingheaction coil, (a) t = 0, (b) t = 15 s, and (c)t = 3 min.






lp' 1


3 Stop t i m e ( m i n i

Figure 3. Current-stop time curves obtained with different concentrations of SO,(g) in ppm (v/v): ( 1 ) 1.2;(2)4.5;(3)10.5.

the surface after the smoothing process with a solution of a surfactant has been shown to considerably decrease such resistance and an increase in current is realized (9). In order to improve the limit of detection, sensitivity, and sample rate, a study of different paste compositions and the effect of surfactant treatment was made. The surfactant used was Triton X-100 (Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, MO) in 0.1% (w/v) aqueous solution. The pretreatment consisted of immersing the carbon paste surface in the surfactant solution for 15 or 45 min under stirring conditions. Table I11 summarizes the observations collected with different pastes before and after treatment; comparison is based

Table 11. Typical Parameters in the Determination of SOz(g) Using the Stopped-Flow Approach and the Closed-Loop Continuous Flow System Described Here stop time, S

0 15 30 60 120 180

working curve equation ~(d), W,l in ppm ( ~ / v ) I i

= 0.369[S02]

+ 0.32

+ 0.54 1 = 0.554[SO*] + 2.25 = 0.553[SO,]

I = 1

0.557[SO2] + 2.42 + 2.03 + 1.62

= 0.619[SO,I = 0.698rs0,i

corr coeff

limit of detection, ppm (v/v)

determination range, ppm (v/v)

sensitivity, *A/PPm

0.9988 0.9989 0.9990 0.9993 0.9986 0.9984

0.38 0.30 0.36 0.28 0.28 0.26

0.5-16 0.4-15 0.4-15 0.3-14 0.3-14 0.3-14

0.369 0.553 0.554 0.557 0.619 0.698



Table 111. Performance of Carbon Paste Electrodes of Different Composition with and without Treatment with Surfactanta





40% graphite 30% hexadecane 30% grease 50% graphite 25% hexadecane 25% grease 67% graphite 16.5% hexadecane 16.5% grease 67% graphite 33% grease

without treatment 15 rnin with Triton 45 rnin with Triton without treatment 15 rnin with Triton 45 rnin with Triton without treatment 15 rnin with Triton 45 rnin with Triton without treatment 15 rnin with Triton 45 rnin with Triton without treatment 15 min with Triton 45 rnin with Triton



67% 33%

graphite hexadecane

calibration curve

i i i i i

i i

i i

i i i i i


= 0 . 0 3 2 ~+ 0.3 = 0.043~+ 0.4 = 0 . 0 5 8 ~+ 0.7 = 0.370~+ 0.3 = 2.944~+ 1.1 = 5 . 7 6 3 ~- 1.5 = 1.454~- 4.5 = 3 . 1 1 4 ~- 3.4 = 4.542~- 10.8 = 1.210~- 0.6 = 2.110% - 2.1 = 0.556~+ 3.2 = 0 . 8 6 7 ~- 2.5 = 8.800~- 14.8 = 3.984~- 8.2

“Data extracted from calibration curves for S02(g)determination. and still have reasonable Daste consistencv. on the values of detection limits, sensitivity, and determination range extracted from calibration curves. All the results correspond to determinations under continuous-flow conditions without stopping the reacting sample plug in the mixing/reaction coil. The method sensitivity, as would be expected, improves with an increase in the percentage of carbon in the paste. Use of more than 67% carbon powder, however, becomes impractical because the resulting mixture is difficult to handle as a paste. Carbon percentages of 40% or less give calibration curves with very small slopes (low sensitivity). Determination ranges are wide in general but slightly larger as the percent of graphite increases. The surfactant treatment considerably improves the detection limit and sensitivity for all paste compositions. Pastes A, B, and C (Table 111) containii the three ingredients with a longer time of contact with the Triton X-100 solution improve the electrochemical performance of the surface. Such an effect can be clearly seen for paste B but is only slightly noticeable with paste A. Paste compositions D and E, with maximum percentage of carbon and a single pasting component, show maximum sensitivity with 15-min treatment; longer treatment times produced surfaces of lesser efficiency for electrochemical detection. Pastes D and E contain the minimum percent of pasting components. Since Triton X-100 decreased the percent of pasting component at the electrode/solution interface, alteration of the ”optimum” percentage may be responsible for the deterioration of electrochemical detection. From an analytical viewpoint it is of interest to achieve low limits of detection, high sensitivity, and wide calibration ranges. For comparative purpose, a parameter combining these three factors is defined here as [linear range of calibration curve]

S‘ = [sensitivity]

[limit of detection]


with units of MA/ppm, that is, the same units as sensitivity. Figure 4 shows how S’varies with paste composition and treatment procedure. Paste B after 45 min of treatment with surfactant seems to be the formulation to prefer for the electrochemical detection proposed here. This paste allows realizing good sensitivity (5.76 MAlppm), very competitive limit of detection (0.2 ppm of SOz(g)), and an acceptable determination range (0.3-7 ppm). Since pretreatment allows operation a t low limits of detection without stopped-flow operation, the number of samples per hour that can be pro-


limit of detection,




range, ppm


2.5 2.5 2.5 0.4 0.4 0.2 3.5 1.3 2.6 1.2 1.2 0.3 3.5 1.8 2.2

2.5-50 2.5-50 2.5-45 0.5-16 0.8-14 0.3-7 4-25 1.4-22 2.7-18 1.5-50 1.4-50 0.5-32 3.5-22 2.0-15 2.5-15

0.032 0.043 0.058 0.370 2.944 5.763 1.454 3.114 4.542 1.210 2.110 0.556 0.867 8.800 3.984

= [SO,(g)],in ppm. 67% graphite is the maximum that can be used

silo-‘ i p A ppm’l



12.0 10.0


6.0 4.0

2.0 00






o b



o b


~ ~ - T R E A l M E W l




Flgure 4. Plot of parameter S’ (see text for definition) as a function of paste composition and electrode surface pretreatment: (a)untreated surface; (b) surface treated for 15 min with 0.1% (wlv) Triton X-100 aqueous solution; (c)surface treated for 45 min with 0.1 % (w/v) Triton X-100 aqueous solution. A s S’ increases, sensitivity, limit of detection, and determination range are better from an analytical viewpoint. For paste composition see Table 111.

cessed is improved to at least 35. Registry No. SOz, 7446-09-5; H3C(CHz)14CH,,544-76-3; graphite, 7782-42-5; triton, 9083-53-8; [Fe2(phen)4(OH)z]4+, 21360-98-5.

LITERATURE CITED (1) Fox, D. L. Anal. Chem. 1985, 5 7 , 223R-238R. (2) Lizaro, F.; Luque de Castro, M. D.; Valclrcel, M. Analusis 1985, 13, 147-159. (3) Ramasamy, S. M.; Jabbar, M. S. A.; Mottola, H. A. Anal. Chem. 1980, 52,2062-2066. (4) Ramasamy, S. M.; Monola, H. A. Anal. Chem. 1982, 5 4 , 283-286. ( 5 ) Sulfur in the Environment; Nrlagu, J., Ed.; W h y : New York, 1978; Part I , Chapter 10. (6) Jacobs, M. B. Analytical Chemistry of Industrial Poisons, Hazards and So/vents, 2nd. ed.; Interscience: New York, 1949; pp 166-168. (7) Anderegg, G. Heiv. Chim. Acta 1982, 4 5 , 1643-1657.


Anal. Chem. 1987, 5 9 , 670-673

(8) Luque de Castro, M. D.; ValcBrcel, M.; Albahadily, F. N.; Mottola, H. A. J.

Electroanal. Chern., in press.

(9) Albahadily, F. N.; Mottola, H. A,, Anal. Chem., in press.

RECEIVED for review June 30, 1986. Accepted October 27,

1986. This work was part of Project No. 84-063 supported by the US-Spain Joint Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation. Such a support is gratefully acknowledged here.

Characterization of Electrode Heterogeneity with Electrogenerated Chemiluminescence Royce C. Engstrom,* Kirk W. Johnson,’ and Scott DesJarlais

Department of Chemistry, University of S o u t h Dakota, Vermillion, S o u t h Dakota 57069

Eledrogenerated chem#wninescence(ECL) was used to form Images showlng the distrlbutlon of electrochsinlcal actMty at mkroheterogemous electrode surfaces. ECL was generated by the reactlon of lumlnol, rubrene, or Ru(bpy):+ at carbon electrodes. Images of the luminescence patterns were recorded photographlcaHy afler sutflclent maflcatlon to show the locatlon, size, and shape of lndlvlduai actlve regions. Epoxy-impregnated retlculated vitreous carbon electrodes served as test electrodes, since they possess active reglons that are vbible under magniflcatlon and external Illumlnatlon. Quantitative Information obtalned from the photographs lncluded the percent actlve area of the electrode surface and histograms showing the dlstributlon of actlve M e dknendons. Those parameters were also evaluated on a carbon paste electrode.

Electrodes with microscopically heterogeneous surfaces are frequently used by electroanalytical chemists in the form of composite electrodes. For example, the carbon paste electrode, prepared by mixing graphite powder with an organic binder such as mineral oil, has been used for years (1, 2 ) . More recently, carbon composites have been prepared with epoxy (3-6) or Kel-F (7-10) as the binder. The surfaces of electrodes prepared from composite materials contain regions of electrochemically active graphite as well as regions of the inactive binder, creating a heterogeneous surface with regard to electron transfer. A heterogeneous electrode with well-defined and visible active regions has been prepared from reticulated vitreous carbon with the void spaces filled with epoxy, and the surface sanded and polished to a smooth finish (11). Besides deliberate electrode design, microscopic heterogeneity has been reported as a result of adsorption processes (12,13) and the anodization of graphite (14). Microscopic heterogeneity has several implications to electroanalytical chemistry. First, the active area of a heterogeneous electrode is obviously less than that of a uniformly active electrode of the same geometric area. Second, the dimensional relationships between the active and inactive regions may result in significant nonlinear diffusion. Third, a signal-to-noise advantage has been demonstrated (9, 10). Information about heterogeneity on electrode surfaces has come from two general categories of techniques, those based on measurement of the total current through an electrode with the application of mathematical modeling, and those based Present address: Eli Lilly Co., Indianapolis, IN.

on microscopic probing of the electrode surface or the solution immediately adjacent to the electrode surface. In the first category, a number of theoretical treatments have appeared that attempt to relate the degree of coverage and dimensions of active and inactive regions to the results of various electrochemical experiments (15-22). Those theories have been used to estimate the dimensions of active and inactive regions on carbon paste electrodes (15)anodized graphite electrodes (14) and Kel-F graphite electrodes (9, 10). The theories generally rely on the assumption that active regions have uniform size, shape, and distribution. As a result, the information obtained from the use of those theories presents an average description of the electrode surface, without information regarding the distribution of active site dimensions or geometry. In the second category of techniques, “maps” of electrode surface activity have been generated with the use of various types of microprobes. Isaacs and co-workers have located centers of corrosion on metal surfaces with the use of scanning microreference electrodes or microreferenceauxiliary combinations (23-25). We have adapted a physiological technique known as iontophoresis to the spatial resolution of electrode activity and have applied it to studying the distribution of activity on graphite-epoxy surfaces (26, 27). We have also used carbon fiber or platinum ultramicroelectrodes to detect species generated a t microscopically localized regions of another electrode surface, with the two electrodes being part of a bipotentiostat circuit (28). In all of these microprobe-based techniques, the spatial resolution that has been achieved has been of the order of tens of micrometers. Lui and co-workers have obtained substantially better resolution in an adaptation of scanning electron-tunn e b microscopy, carried out in solution with the probe being a microelectrode that was electropolished to submicrometer dimensions (29). Butler has reported on a photoelectrochemical imaging technique, in which photocurrents were induced on microscopically localized regions of semiconductor electrode surfaces with a focused laser (30). The position of the electrode surface with respect to the laser beam was controlled with a stepper-motor driven stage in 1-km increments, so that photocurrents were plotted as a function of position or displayed as a video image (31)with a resolution of 3 pm. Rubinstein located nonconducting inclusions on metal surfaces by electrodepositing a polymer film on the surface. Inclusions of a t least 30 wm diameter showed up as regions devoid of the polymer coating (32). We report here a technique for obtaining an image of surface electrochemical activity based on the observation of electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL), a phenomenon that has been described extensively in the literature (33,34,

0003-2700/87/0359-0670$01.50/0 0 1987 American Chemical Society