Half-Cell Definition in Chemistry

Daniell Cell
Daniell cell electrochemistry may be written as two half-reactions.

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A half-cell is half of an electrolytic or voltaic cell, where either oxidation or reduction occurs. The half-cell reaction at the anode is oxidation, while the half-cell reaction at the cathode is reduction.

Half-Cell Example

The electrochemical reaction of a Daniell cell may be written as two half-cells. The original equation is:

2H+(aq) + 2e- → H2(g)

The half-cells or half-reactions are:

Zn → Zn2+ + 2e(for the reaction at the anode or Zn)

Cu2+ + 2e → Cu (for the reaction at the cathode or Cu)


  • Andrews, Donald H.; Richard J. Kokes (1962). "Electrochemistry." Fundamental Chemistry. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.