Jaroslav Heyrovsky Father of Electroanalytical Method | Discovered polarography

Jaroslav Heyrovsky – father of electroanalytical method

Article on Jaroslav Heyrovsky

Biography & contributions

Jaroslav Heyrovsky was a Czech chemist, Nobel Prize laureate and inventor born on December 20, 1890 – died on March 27, 1967. Heyrovsky was considered as the father of the electroanalytical method and also well known for discovery polarography in the year of 1922.

Heyrovsky received many honors from many universities like he was elected Fellow of University College, London, in the year of 1927, and received honorary doctorates from the Technical University, Dresden in the year of 1955, the University of Warsaw in the year of 1956, the University Aix-Marseille in the year of 1959, and the University of Paris in the year of 1960. He was granted honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the year of 1933; in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the year of 1955; the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, in the year of 1955.

He had done great contributions like created the first instrument called polarograph, used the electrochemical analytical method to analyze both the organic and inorganic compounds and also studied the electrocapillarity of mercury. Jaroslav Heyrovsky continued his work on the so-called oscillopolarography in year of 1938.

In 1922 Heyrovsky constructed an electrical circuit whose voltage from a battery was applied through a Kohlrausch drum to a mercury-dropping electrode immersed in a saline solution.


Polarography is a subclass of voltammetry where the working electrode is a dropping mercury electrode (DME) or a static mercury drop electrode (SMDE), which are useful for their wide cathodic ranges and renewable surfaces. Polarography is a voltammetric measurement whose response is determined by combined diffusion/convection mass transport. Simple principle of polarography is the study of solutions or of electrode processes by means of electrolysis with two electrodes, one polarizable and one unpolarizable, the former formed by mercury regularly dropping from a capillary tube. Polarography is a specific type of measurement that falls into the general category of linear-sweep voltammetry where the electrode potential is altered in a linear fashion from the initial potential to the final potential.

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