Return to: ESTIR home page Electrochemistry Encyclopedia Electrochemistry Dictionary ECS Home Page


Semi-retired electrochemist

Visiting scholar, Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adjunct professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Fellow, and Society Historian: The Electrochemical Society.



  • Diploma from the University of Veszprem, Hungary (Electrochemical Engineering, 1956)
  • M.S. from the University of Akron (Physical Chemistry, 1962)
  • Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (Physical Chemistry, 1972)


Retired from Argonne National Laboratory after thirty years of research. Currently maintains three electrochemistry informational websites.

All can be reached through: Electrochemistry Knowledge (http://


Thede websites are hosted by the The Electrochemical Society, Inc. (ECS).

Research Interests

Application of Synchrotron X-ray Techniques to Electrochemistry

The recent availability of synchrotron x-ray sources make possible the "in-situ" investigation of chemical and structural changes occurring on electrode surfaces. The electrode need not be removed from the operating cell and can remain under full potential control during these measurements. Synchrotron x-ray scattering techniques were used to study electrochemical systems ranging from sub-monolayer level phenomena, through nanometer size phenomena, to submicron size phenomena; that is, covering the full range of the "interphase" at an electrode surface including both the solid and the solution sides. The systems studied include among others:
  • incipient oxidation/reduction of platinum single crystal surfaces,
  • sub-monolayer/monolayer level oxidation/reduction of ruthenium dioxide single crystal surfaces,
  • copper passivation/depassivation,
  • anodic formation of porous silicon and silicon dioxide layers.

Kinetics of Fast Electrode Reactions

Electrocatalytic effects of trace anion impurities were determined for a number of systems. It was demonstrated that catalysis can occur at concentration levels below the sensitivity of most analytical techniques, consequently previous measured rate constants can be many order-of-magnitudes larger than the true values. Fast heterogeneous charge-transfer reactions were also investigated in high-temperature molten salts and in high-temperature/high-pressure aqueous solutions using DC transient techniques.

Numerical Modeling of Transient Electrochemical Measuring Techniques

Numerical computer models of a variety of DC transient techniques (potentiostatic, galvanostatic, and coulostatic single- and multiple-pulse techniques) were developed incorporating many aspects which are usually ignored. The rise time of pulses, the potential dependence of the charge-transfer coefficient and the double layer capacitance were all accounted for. These models are useful for determining the applicability limits of the techniques, for carrying out numerical data analysis, and for determining the reliability (confidence limits) of the calculated parameters.

Selected publications

Books and review chapters

  1. Electrochemistry at synchrotrons
    Z. Nagy, in "Electrochemistry - Past, Present, and Future," S. Fletcher, G. Inzelt, and F. Scholz, Editors, Springer, Berlin, (special issue of the Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, Vol. 15, No. 7/8, pp 1679-1695) 2011.
  2. Electrochemistry on the internet
    Z. Nagy, in "Electrochemistry - Past, Present and Future," S. Fletcher, G. Inzelt, and F. Scholz, Editors, Springer, Berlin, (special issue of the Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, Vol. 15, No. 7/8, pp 1805-1809) 2011.
  3. Applications of synchrotron x-ray scattering techniques to electrochemistry
    Z. Nagy and H. You, in "Modern Aspects of Electrochemistry," R. E. White, Editor, Vol. 45, Ch. 5, Springer, New York, 2009.
  4. Trace anion catalysis of outer-sphere heterogeneous charge-transfer reactions
    Z. Nagy, in "Modern Aspects of Electrochemistry," R. E. White, B. E. Conway, and C. G. Vayenas, Editors, Vol. 37, Ch. 5, Kluver/Plenum Press, New York, 2004.
  5. Applications of x-ray scattering techniques for the study of electrochemical interphases
    H. You and Z. Nagy, in "Current Topics in Electrochemistry, 2," p. 21, Research Trends, Council of Scientific Research Information, Trivandrum, India, 1993.
  6. DC electrochemical techniques for the measurement of corrosion rates
    Z. Nagy, in "Modern Aspects of Electrochemistry," J. O'M. Bockris, B. E. Conway, and R. E. White, Editors, Vol. 25, Ch. 3, Plenum Press, New York, 1993.
  7. DC relaxation techniques for the characterization of fast electrode reactions
    Z. Nagy, in "Modern Aspects of Electrochemistry," R. E. White, J. O'M. Bockris, and B. E. Conway, Editors, Vol. 21, Ch. 6, Plenum Press, New York, 1990.
  8. Electrochemical synthesis of inorganic compounds. A bibliography
    Z. Nagy, Plenum Press, New York, 1985.
  9. Electrochemistry for ecologists
    J. O'M. Bockris and Z. Nagy, Plenum Press, New York, 1974.

Journal articles

  1. Electrochemistry at synchrotrons
    Z. Nagy in "Historical Perspectives on the Evolution of Electrochemical Tools," (ECS Special Volume SV2002-29) J. Leddy, V. Birss, and P. Vanysek, Editors, Ch. 14, pp 235-240, The Electrochemical Society, Pennington, New Jersey, 2004.
  2. Applications of surface x-ray scattering to electrochemistry problems
    Z. Nagy and H. You, Electrochim. Acta, 47, 3037 (2002).
  3. Electrochemical and x-ray scattering study of well defined RuO2 single crystal surfaces
    T. E. Lister, Y. Chu, W. Cullen, H. You, J. M. Mitchell, R. M. Yonco, and Z. Nagy, J. Electroanal. Chem., 524-525, 201 (2002).
  4. Commensurate water monolayer on rutile RuO2 (110): a surface x-ray scattering study with electrochemical reduction/oxidation
    Y. S. Chu, T. E. Lister, W. G. Cullen, H. You, and Z. Nagy, Phys. Rev. Lett., 86, 3364 (2001).
  5. X-ray reflectivity study of formation of multilayer porous anodic oxides of silicon
    V. Parkhutik, Y. Chu, H. You, Z. Nagy, and P. A. Montano, J. Porous Mater., 7, 27 (2000).
  6. Theory and experiment on the cuprous-cupric electron transfer rate at a copper electrode
    J. W. Halley, B. B. Smith, S. Walbran, L. A. Curtiss, R. O. Rigney, A. Sutjianto, N. C. Hung, R. M. Yonco, and Z. Nagy, J. Chem. Phys., 110, 6538 (1999).
  7. Chloride ion catalysis of the copper deposition reaction
    Z. Nagy, J. P. Blaudeau, N. C. Hung, L. A. Curtiss, and D. J. Zurawski, J. Electrochem. Soc., 142, L87 (1995).
  8. Radiolytic effects on the in situ investigation of buried interfaces with synchrotron x-ray techniques
    Z. Nagy and H. You, J. Electroanal. Chem., 381, 275 (1995).
  9. In-situ x-ray reflectivity study of incipient oxidation of Pt(111) surface in electrolyte solutions
    H. You, D. J. Zurawski, Z. Nagy, and R. M. Yonco, J. Chem. Phys., 100, 4699 (1994).
  10. Catalytic effect of under-potential deposited layers on the ferrous/ferric outer-sphere electron transfer reaction
    Z. Nagy, L. A. Curtiss, N. C. Hung, D. J. Zurawski, and R. M. Yonco, J. Electroanal. Chem., 325, 313 (1992).
  11. Temperature dependence of the heterogeneous ferrous-ferric electron transfer reaction rate: comparison of experiment and theory
    L. A. Curtiss, J. W. Halley, J. Hautman, N. C. Hung, Z. Nagy, Y.-J. Rhee, and R. M Yonco, J. Electrochem. Soc., 138, 2032 (1991).
  12. Temperature dependence of the transfer coefficient: the ferrous-ferric redox reaction
    Z. Nagy, N. C. Hung, and R. M. Yonco, J. Electrochem. Soc., 136, 895 (1989).
  13. Kinetics of the ferrous/ferric electrode reaction in the absence of chloride catalysis
    N. C. Hung and Z. Nagy, J. Electrochem. Soc., 134, 2215 (1987).
  14. Palladium/hydrogen membrane electrode for high-temperature/high-pressure aqueous solutions
    Z. Nagy and R. M. Yonco, J. Electrochem. Soc., 133, 2232 (1986).
  15. Metal deposition-dissolution in molten halides: on the question of measurability of very fast electrode reaction rates
    J. L. Settle and Z. Nagy, J. Electrochem. Soc., 132, 1619 (1985).
  16. Applications of non-equilibrium thermodynamics to the theory of overvoltage
    Z. Nagy, Electrochim. Acta, 22, 191 (1977).
  17. A mechanistic model for the calculation of material balance for a diaphragm-type chlorine caustic cell
    Z. Nagy, J. Electrochem. Soc., 124, 91 (1977).
  18. Calculations on the effect of gas evolution on the current-overpotential relation and current distribution in electrolytic cells
    Z. Nagy, J. Appl. Electrochem., 6, 171 (1976).
  19. On the morphology of zinc electrodeposition from alkaline solutions
    J. O'M. Bockris, Z. Nagy, and D. Drazic, J. Electrochem. Soc., 120, 30 (1973).
  20. On the deposition and dissolution of zinc in alkaline solutions
    J. O'M. Bockris, Z. Nagy, and A. Damjanovic, J. Electrochem. Soc., 119, 285 (1972).

Return to: Top ESTIR home page Electrochemistry Encyclopedia Electrochemistry Dictionary ECS Home Page