This article describes the construction of a novel optically transparent thin-layer electrochemical (OTTLE) cell for IR and UV-Vis spectroelectrochemical experiments at variable temperature. The cell has a three-electrode set melt-sealed into a smooth polyethylene spacer which is sandwiched between two CaF2 windows. The width of this spacer (0.18-0.20 mm) defines the thickness of the thin solution layer. The whole electrode assembly is housed in a thermostated Cu block of the OTTLE cell which fits into a double-walled nitrogen-bath cryostat. The experimental setup permits relatively fast electrolysis within the tested temperature range of 295 to 173 K under strictly anaerobic conditions and protection of light-sensitive compounds. Other important merits of the cell design include lack of leakage, facile cleaning, almost negligible variation of the preset temperature, and facile manipulation in the course of the experiments. The applicability of the variable-temperature IR/UV-Vis OTTLE cell is demonstrated by stabilization of a few electrogenerated carbonyl complexes of Mn(I) and Ru(II) with 3,5-di-tert. butyl-1,2-benzo(semi)quinone (DB(S)Q) and N,N'-diisopropyl-1,4-diaza-1,3-butadiene (iPr-DAB) ligands, respectively, at appropriately low temperatures.
F. Hartl, H. Luyten, H. A. Nieuwenhuis, and G. C. Schoemaker, "Versatile Cryostated Optically Transparent Thin-Layer Electrochemical (OTTLE) Cell for Variable-Temperature UV-Vis/IR Spectroelectrochemical Studies," Appl. Spectrosc. 48, 1522-1528 (1994)