Electrolysis can be carried out on aqueous solutions of less than 1cm3 in volume. This reduces waste, reduces risk and can be achieved in minutes. All the experiments below used approximately 0.1M solutions, except for silver nitrate and tin (II) chloride which were about 0.05M.
The electrolysis is carried out in the well of a spotting tile using a pencil lead cathode and a carbon fibre anode.
The carbon fibre is moistened at one end with distilled water and then wound into a simple loop.
The electrolyte, carbon fibre loop and pencil lead are set-up for electrolysis in one of the wells of the spotting tile.
The electrodes are connected with standard laboratory crocodile clips and leads to a d.c. power pack. When the power pack is turned on ( 6 – 12v) results can be observed in seconds.
Thanks to Bob Worley of Microchemuk for inspiration and encouragement with the development of these experiments.
Movies of various micro-electrolysis experiments can be seen by clicking on the links below: