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Fellows Directory

Roger Parsons

Roger Parsons

Professor Roger Parsons FRS


Elected: 1980


Roger Parsons made important contributions to electrochemistry, both experimental and theoretical. His early work was concerned with the fundamental problems of the kinetics of electrode processes, particularly of hydrogen evolution and redox systems; one important feature of these studies was to provide the first experimental support for the theoretically predicted variation of the transfer coefficient with potential. His theoretical analysis relating rate to adsorption energy provided the basis for his widely accepted theory of electrocatalysis, and included the effects of inhibition and specificity in branched reaction sequences.

In addition, Roger developed precise thermodynamic procedures with the introduction of a new thermodynamic function for evaluation of surface excesses at electrified interphases and of heats of adsorption, finally to provide a theoretical and thermodynamic basis for the Esin–Markov effect. His concurrent experimental work provided detailed information of the nature of the interactions, the electrical properties of the solvent molecules adjacent to the electrode, and the thickness of the electrical double layer.

Professor Roger Parson FRS died on 4 January 2017.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, physical


  • Davy Medal

    For his distinguished career in electochemistry. He developed the method of preparing, for the first time, clean and well-defined metal surfaces and putting them into contact with the electrolyte without contamination.

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