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Unit 11: The Metallic World—Electrochemistry and Coordination Compounds

Glossary

Activity series
A list of various chemical species arranged in order of reactivity. It is usually used to describe the ability of various metals to displace hydrogen from water or from acids.
Anode
In an electrochemical cell, the electrode at which the oxidation half-reaction occurs.
Anodization
The description of a modified metal surface through reaction with another chemical component, forcing the metal surface to undergo oxidation (i.e., act as an anode).
Cathode
In an electrochemical cell, the electrode at which the reduction half-reaction occurs.
Coordinate covalent bond
A covalent bond between two atoms, where one of the atoms provides both electrons that form the bond. This usually takes place between a ligand and a metal cation.
Electrolytic cell
An electrochemical cell in which the redox process is forced to run in the nonspontaneous direction.
Electromotive force
The other term for the voltage associated with an electrochemical reaction.
Galvanic cell
An electrochemical cell in which the redox process involved occurs spontaneously.
Half-reaction
A chemical reaction balanced with electrons to show only the reduction half or the oxidation half of an electrochemical reaction.
Ligand
An ion or molecule that binds through a coordinate covalent bond to a central metal atom to form a coordination complex.
Oxidation
Loss of electrons by one species over the course of a chemical reaction.
Passivation
The natural oxidation of a metal surface by exposure to other chemical species, so that it is prevented from further oxidation.
Potential difference
Also referred to as "voltage," the work done by (or required by) a redox process to transfer electrons.
Redox
The shorthand term for a "reduction-oxidation" reaction.
Reduction
A reaction in which an atom, molecule, or ion gains electrons. Reduction is always accompanied by a separate oxidation process, a reaction in which another reactant loses the electrons.
Standard reduction potential
For a reduction half-reaction, a value for the electromotive force or voltage generated when that half-reaction is paired with a standard electrode.

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