I have been trying to determine which materials work for electrophoresis electrodes. My hope was that I could find something cheaper than platinum (I know it will work but it cost a lot). Below are some things I have tried and the results.
- Copper – Dissolves in solution and makes the solution blue-green (based on reports from various websites, only listed material I did not test).
- Generic wire (22 gauge) – Mix of copper and iron. Works as an anode but not a cathode. As an anode copper leaked into solution and the wire became green and red striped, presumably because the braided strands were different materials.
- Sterling silver (24 gauge) – Mix of silver (~90%), copper (~5%), and other elements. Does not work for anode and I have not tested it as a cathode. As an anode it leaked copper into solution, a black precipitate formed (steel was the cathode in this test) on top of both electrodes and the majority of the wire disintegrated.
- Braided steel cable (around 1mm in diamter) – Intended as a “steel leader” for fishing. Works as an anode but not as a cathode. If it is used as a cathode it will disintegrate and break.