The palladium-hydrogen electrode (abbreviation: Pd/H2) is one of the common reference electrodes used in electrochemical study. Most of its characteristics are similar to the standard hydrogen electrode (with platinum). But palladium has one significant feature--the capability to absorb (dissolve into itself) molecular hydrogen.
Two phases can coexist in palladium when hydrogen is absorbed:
The electrochemical behaviour of a palladium electrode in equilibrium with H3O+ ions in solution parallels the behaviour of palladium with molecular hydrogen
When palladium is electrochemically charged by hydrogen, the existence of two phases is manifested by a constant potential of approximately +50 mV compared to the reversible hydrogen electrode. This potential is independent of the amount of hydrogen absorbed over a wide range. This property has been utilized in the construction of a palladium/hydrogen reference electrode. The main feature of such electrode is an absence of non-stop bubbling of molecular hydrogen through the solution as it is absolutely necessary for the standard hydrogen electrode.