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Electrochemical testing lab

Metrohm-Autolab potentiostat/galvanostat PGSTAT302N

The Autolab/PGSTAT302N is a top-of-the-range modular potentiostat/galvanostat for high currents (2 A limit, or 20 A with the BSTR20A amplifier) and WE-CE voltages up to 30 V. It is equipped with both analogue and digital (DIO) inputs/outputs, allowing control of external devices and accessories.

A frequency response of over 1 MHz and the ability to expand with any of the available modules make this instrument not only the fastest, but also the most versatile instrument in the Autolab family. In cyclic voltammetry, the maximum sweep rate is 250,000 V/s for instruments equipped with a combination of SCAN250 and ADC10M modules. For ‘chrono’-methods, the interval between measuring points can reach 100 ns, using the ADC10M module and NOVA software.

There are two basic series of AUTOLAB models. The N series are top-of-the-range instruments, with the best performance and a modular design that allows for expansion of measurement capabilities by installing specialised modules in the future.

Lab supervisor

Prof. Witold Walke, PhD, Eng.

Witold.Walke@polsl.pl
room 102, Zabrze

The range of tests performed includes:

  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests
  • corrosion resistance testing. 

Application areas:

  • Batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors
  • Coatings and corrosion studies
  • Conductive polymers and membranes
  • Dielectrics
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Electrodeposition
  • Semiconductors

NOVA software

The latest NOVA software package gives you access to the internal functions of the potentiostat, thus enabling you to create your own measurement techniques, virtually unlimited modification of existing experimental procedures, and integration with other instruments and measurement systems, including for combined measurements (e.g. spectroelectrochemical). A particularly useful feature is the possibility of combining several AUTOLAB instruments (also of different types!) into a virtual multi-channel potentiostat and conducting synchronised measurements simultaneously.

Scanning electrochemical microscopy test station

Scanning electrochemical microscopy involves visualising the local electrochemical activity of the sample surface. For this purpose, the microelectrode is moved a short distance above the sample surface (the area under study corresponds to between 3 and 5 microelectrode diameters).

In the investigated area, the microelectrode interacts with the surface in a way that depends on the surface properties. Microelectrodes with a radius of less than 100 µm are particularly useful, due to the semi-spherical nature of the diffusion and the rapid attainment of a stationary state. The current flowing through the microelectrode during surface scanning is modulated by the changing electrochemical properties of the sample surface. 

Enhancing the imaging quality of Sensolytics Base SECM, by introducing a piezoelectric positioning system. 

  • Nominal resolution of 1 nm
  • with a repeatability of 10 nm
  • for an area of 100x100x100 μm.

The precise separation of topographic and electrochemical information, allows the distance between the scanning tip and the sample to be controlled. 
It is possible to provide a constant distance from 50 – 300 nm above the sample surface through a feedback mechanism.

Suitable for structures < 1 µm, dependent on High-Res option

Option: Shearforce

Workstations for automated, real-time measurement of surface plasmon resonance 

The Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technique makes it possible to study the phenomena occurring on the surface of a gold layer sputtered onto a glass disk, and in an adjacent solution layer approximately 400 nm thick.

Our SPR is equipped with an electrochemical cuvette that allows, in addition to simple SPR, also testing in which the gold layer is a working electrode (electrochemical SPR – ESPR).

Main areas of application of the SPR technique:

  • antigen-antibody interactions
  • surface modification, including molecular (mono) layers
  • polymerisation and electropolymerisation
  • biosensors and DNA/RNA chips
  • biocompatibility of coatings and surface layers
  • kinetics of bio-molecule interactions

SPR measurements can be combined with various electrochemical techniques, such as cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry or impedance spectroscopy.

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