Faculty & Staff Directory

Professor Petr Vanýsek

Petr Vanýsek

Office:  La Tourette Hall 418
Phone:  (815) 753-6876

Educational Background

Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1982-1984

Ph.D. (CSc.), Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 1982

RNDr., Charles University, Prague, 1977

B.S., Charles University, Prague, 1976

Curriculum Vitae pdf

Research Interests

Electroanalytical chemistry; physical electrochemistry; electrochemistry of electrolyte interfaces; interfacial structure and transport; optical processes on electrified interfaces; sensors; separations and microfluidics.

Personal Webpage

Representative Publications

Structure of the interface between two polar liquids: Nitrobenzene and water. Luo, G.; Malkova, S.; Pingali, S. V.; Schultz, D. G.; Lin, B.; Meron, M.; Benjamin, I.; Vanýsek, P.; Schlossman, M. L. (2006) J. Phys. Chem. B, 110: 4527–4530.

Impedance characterization of a quartz crystal microbalance. Vanýsek, P.; Delia, L. A. (2006) Electroanalysis, 18: 371–377.

Ion distributions near a liquid–liquid interface. Luo, G.; Malkova, S.; Yoon, J.; Schultz, D. G.; Lin, B.; Meron, M.; Benjamin, I.; Vanýsek, P.; Schlossman, M. L. (2006) Science, 311: 216–218.

The glass pH electrode. Vanýsek, P. (2004) Electrochem. Soc. Interface, 13: 19-20.

Electrochemistry of Interfacial Structures

The interface between two immiscible solutions (e.g., water and nitrobenzene) containing dissolved electrolytes is a site of an electric potential similar to that found across biological membranes. This potential can be altered by changing the makeup of the solutions in contact; similarly, the makeup of the solutions can be altered by an applied electric current. The judicious choice of applied current or potential can be used to learn about the structure of the interface. Since the interface is very thin, it cannot be observed directly. Besides the electrochemical methods, indirect observations are made by studying the flux dispersion of a high-energy X-ray beam as it passes in proximity to the interface, using a synchrotron source.


Diagram of the electrochemical cell used in the liquid- liquid interface experiment.

The expertise gained on the immiscible liquid interfaces can also be applied to studies of the interfaces between a solution and a metal. Many metals form layers of oxides on their surfaces. The nature of the oxides is very important in understanding corrosion, electrocatalysis in fuel cells and batteries, etc. These oxides are also very important for the development of new technology associated with tiny supercapacitors.

Electroanalytical chemistry is also used as a detection tool in microfluidics separations. These involve separating an extremely small volume of a sample compound into its components, or analyzing it by a chemical reaction.

The range of practical applications of electrochemistry increases every year. Some of the pertinent areas are: electroanalytical chemistry; study of the structure of a double-layer; modeling of biochemical processes, especially in biological membrane models; elucidation of processes in ion sensitive electrodes with liquid membranes; study of processes involving electrochemical microdomains; metal surface analysis and corrosion studies; and development of new nanostructured materials.