Potentiostats and galvanostats are instruments specifically designed to measure electrochemical in a range of research applications, including general electrochemistry, fuel cell, and battery testing, surface imaging, coatings, biomedical research, and corrosion control.

These instruments also come in smaller sizes, considering that space is vital in research laboratories today. Therefore, a smaller potentiostat and galvanostat will allow you to use more instruments and devices in the extra space, maximizing the way you measure and experiment in your lab.

The key features include:

  • Can be connected to any external device
  • Multichannel to boost the research throughput
  • Flexible software control
  • A comprehensive range of accessories
  • Compact design is portable and lightweight

How do these instruments work?

The general objective of electrochemistry is to understand the thermodynamics and kinetics of a reaction that happens to an electrode. The use of instruments like potentiostats and galvanostats is essential in this industry. These high precision tools can work on almost every industrial and academic application out there.

The main function of potentiostats is to keep the voltage at a steady value between a working and reference electrode, while galvanostats maintain a steady flow of current via an electrolytic cell.

Potentiostats utilizes an electrode system consisting of 2-4 connections. The working electrode is where a reaction occurs, for example, in a metal. In corrosion, it measures the corroded material. For battery testing, the potentiostat connects to the battery electrode directly.

Besides controlling the voltage of the working and reference electrode, they also measure the difference of voltage between the two electrodes. They also measure the current flow that completes the circuit of the cell between the working and counter electrode. With galvanostats, they control the cell current instead of the voltage.

Selection of potentiostats and galvanostats

When choosing these electrochemical instruments, evaluate the features and specifications of the product. The primary parameters are current resolution, input impedance, maximum voltage, capacitance, and maximum current.

Other factors to consider are the number of inputs for every channel, interface type, as well as the average time of sampling. Some of these instruments have options for low and high current. Others come with booster options, simultaneous measurements of current and voltage, and automatic current ranging.

Potentiostats and galvanostats in single channels are suitable for use in basic electrochemical applications. Those in multiple channels are designed for square-wave voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, which are comprehensive electrochemical workstations.

The difference between potentiostats and galvanostats is often in form. Both may integrate software that runs on the operating system of Microsoft Windows.

Why use potentiostats and galvanostats

When a metallic surface comes in contact with a corrosive material or solution, corrosion can develop. You can study and understand the behavior of these metallic surfaces as they are submersed in corroding substances by applying electrochemical methods. You use potentiostats and galvanostats to identify the distinctive nature of these metals.

The use of potentiostat is crucial for determining the reaction mechanisms of electrochemical compounds and microbes in solutions such as toxins, drugs, batteries, and redox chemistry. Galvanostats work as electronic amplifiers using low feedback. A galvanostat generates a constant voltage that comes with a series of resistors.

The resistor must work at higher rates than the load to force the near-constant flow of current via a load. Galvanostats that are more complex have the capacity to feed and produce a constant current from picoamperes to amperes.