Electrochemical cells should be typeset

  • According to the "Green Book" from IUPAC with vertical bars, dashed vertical bars and double dashed vertical bars. (first picture)
  • According to Atkins, Physical Chemistry with vertical bar, three vertical dots and double vertical bar. (second picture)

How do i properly typeset those symbols? The single bar I can directly input from the keyboard like "|". For the double, do i just make two bars like "||" or is there a more suitable symbol? How do i get (double) dashed vertical bars and three vertical dots? In text mode or math mode?

\usepackage{array, lipsum, epstopdf, amssymb}
\usepackage{textcomp}   %symbols e.g. °C
\usepackage{textgreek}  %greek letters in text mode


Cu(s) | CuSO4(aq) || KCl(aq) || ZnSO4(aq) | Zn(s)

IUPAC, "Green Book" Atkins, Physical Chemistry

  • For the vertical dots you can use \vdots. You might want to lower it to match the vertical bar by using \raisebox{-2pt}{\vdots}, or possibly compress the dots by importing (e.g.) the MnSymbol package. There is a math symbol \| for a double vertical bar, which gives bars slightly closer together than ||, but if you're also doubling the vertical dots or dashes those will probably give something more similar to ||.
    – Emma
    Nov 19, 2016 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


I don't know this symbol in LaTeX but you may build it with \vrule.

      \vrule height .2\dimen0 depth 0pt\kern-.4pt\relax
      \vrule height .6\dimen0 depth -.4\dimen0\kern-.4pt\relax
      \vrule height \dimen0 depth -.8\dimen0\relax


After this,

Cu(s) $|$ CuSO$_4$(aq) \dashbarii\ KCl(aq,sat) \dashbarii\ ZnSO$_4$(aq) $|$ Zn(s)

gives enter image description here

The code above has a small drawback: the dash bars are narrower than the vertical bar |. I modified it to ajust this.

       \vrule height .2\dimen0 depth 0pt\kern-.4pt\relax
       \vrule height .6\dimen0 depth -.4\dimen0\kern-.4pt\relax
       \vrule height \dimen0 depth -.8\dimen0\relax
\newcommand\dashbar{\begingroup\setbox0\hbox{$|$}\hbox to\wd0\bgroup\hss\@dashbar\@@dashbar}

Now, everythings lines up!

enter image description here

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