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Q. 14.2

Junction Potential

A 0.1 M NaCl solution was placed in contact with a 0.1 M $NaNO_{3}$ solution. Which side of the junction is positive?

Verified Solution

Because $[Na^{+}]$ is equal on both sides, there is no net diffusion of $Na^{+}$ across the junction. However, $Cl^{−}$ diffuses into $NaNO_{3}$, and $NO_{3}^{−}$ diffuses into NaCl. The mobility of $Cl^{−}$ is greater than that of $NO_{3}^{−}$, so the NaCl region will be depleted of $Cl^{−}$ faster than the $NaNO_{3}$ region will be depleted of $NO_{3}^{−}$. The $NaNO_{3}$ side will become negative, and the NaCl side will become positive.

Test Yourself      Which side of the 0.05 M NaCl | 0.05 M LiCl junction will be positive?