Probing electrochemical processes by mass spectrometry (EC/MS) is a developing field that benefits from the unmatched identification power of mass spectrometry and from the rapid transfer of electrochemical cell products to the mass spectrometer. Most of the current EC/MS efforts are directed towards the development of differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) using the electro-ionization source for identification of volatile compounds, and towards the application of electrospray mass spectrometers for determination of semivolatile and nonvolatile products. The challenges in coupling mass spectrometry and electrochemistry are described, and different approaches to using the coupled system for diverse applications are reviewed, with emphasis on electrospray mass spectrometry. Reaction mechanism studies, diagnostic applications, and activity imaging of electrodes are demonstrated based on approaches that were devised in our laboratory.
- mass spectrometry
- probe microscopy
- scanning capillary microscopy