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Reference Half-cell

Definition - What does Reference Half-cell mean?

A reference half-cell is an electrode with a stable and well-documented electrochemical potential voltage. Two half-cells are connected in an electrolyte to create a galvanic cell or battery.

In empirical studies of corrosion rates and industrial applications, it is important to know which electrolyte and electrode pairs facilitate increased ion transfer. The corrosion rate is directly proportional to the rate of ionic exchange. Reference half-cells therefore serve as a medium for any cell potential calculation.

Corrosionpedia explains Reference Half-cell

In batteries, two half-cells make an oxidizing-reducing couple, with each half-cell acting as an electrode. An electrode is a point where current enters and leaves the electrolyte. Electrolytes are vital components of electrochemical cells because they transport electrons from one-half cell to another, which produces an electric current. The electric current is measured in reference to a standard electrode system (SHE) with a potential of 0 volts.

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