During In the last few decades, the use of miniaturized electrochemical devices has grown rapidly and found diverse applications in scientific and consumer products. The process of developing specialized electrochemical devices is often time-consuming and expensive. Experimental setups involving electrochemistry often use specialized measurement equipment such as a potentiostat. A potentiostat is an analytical instrument that controls the voltage and current between two or more electrodes in a cell. The accuracy, precision, and flexibility of applying or measuring voltages and currents depends on the quality and design of the electronic hardware, which for commercially available potentiostats, often correlate with the device’s cost and architecture. Consequently, one of the challenges faced by today’s electrochemical research community is how to perform modern experimental designs with expensive, asynchronous, and inflexible potentiostats.
To help address this challenge, investigators at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) have researched and developed a custom potentiostat for a variety of experimental applications. Their unique modular multi-channel potentiostat can operate multiple electrochemical devices or a single electrochemical device with more than one (e.g., working) electrode. It's also easy to scale (e.g., from 8 to at least 64 channels) by adding more stackable boards, and can be remotely or locally controlled. The architecture, including output and input stages, can be designed to achieve a wide output range, and low current measurement capability independently over multiple channels. In one configuration, the device provided multi-channel actuation with simultaneous current recording. In yet a further example, each of the (e.g., 64) parallel potentiostats had independently adjustable voltage sources ± 4 V and with maximum currents ± 1.5 μA.