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Last updated date: 05th Dec 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Give the definition of an electrode. Is it a poor conductor or a good conductor of electricity?

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Hint: An electrode is an electrical conductor that is used to make contact with non-metallic parts of circuits such as electrolyte, semiconductors, plasma etc. The term ‘electrode’ was coined by William Whewell at the request of Michael Faraday. The word ‘electrode’ derived from the Greek word elektron, which means “amber” and hodos, meaning a way.

Complete answer:
The electrode is an electrochemical cell that is referred to as either anode or cathode. Anode is defined as the electrode at which electrons leave the cell and oxidation occurs, and cathode on the other hand is defined as the electrode at which electrons enter the cell and reduction occurs. Depending on the direction of flow of current, each electrode may become either cathode or anode.
Since the combination of cathode and anode make up the electrode and it allows the flow of current, we can therefore say that electrodes are good conductors of electricity.

There are mainly two types of electrodes- reactive electrodes and inert electrodes. Reactive electrodes are the ones that actively participate in a reaction such as zinc, copper, lead and silver. Whereas inert electrodes do not take part in any reaction, for example, platinum, gold, graphite and rhodium.
Electrodes are used in different battery types, welding, electroplating and electrolysis, cathodic protection etc. It is also used for medical purposes like ECG, ECT, EEG and defibrillator.