team members kyle bloomer josh geiman lucas bennett n.
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Team Members: Kyle Bloomer Josh Geiman Lucas Bennett. Potentiostat. Team Sponsor: Dr. Cindy Harnett Team Mentor: Dr. Andy Dozier. Harnett Lab. Dr. Harnett's laboratory needs 15 potentiostats for her microfluidics lab

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team members kyle bloomer josh geiman lucas bennett
Team Members:

Kyle Bloomer

Josh Geiman

Lucas Bennett


Team Sponsor:

  • Dr. Cindy Harnett

Team Mentor:

  • Dr. Andy Dozier
harnett lab
Harnett Lab
  • Dr. Harnett's laboratory needs 15 potentiostats for her microfluidics lab
  • Off the shelf potentiostats range in price from $5K to $10K, which is prohibitive for an instructional lab

Commercial Potentiostat

what is a potentiostat
What is a Potentiostat?
  • A Potentiostat is the electronic hardware required to control a three electrode cell and run most electro-analytical experiments.
  • An electronic instrument that controls the voltage difference between a Working Electrode and a Reference Electrode.
  • It measures the current flow between the Working and Counter Electrodes.
history ardustat
History - Ardustat
  • A previous potentiostat was attempted by a project team using an open source design, the Ardustat
  • Hardware used was an Arduino processor board, with a prototype “daughter board”
    • The Ardustat was a two electrode configuration
  • Ardustat electrical design was poorly documented, which caused the project team to have difficulty implementing it for the project
  • Software design had no documentation or comments for either the firmware or the application software
  • The team was unable to meet the project goals
ardustat code example
Ardustat Code Example

Before Ben

After Ben

  • We have found an open source, three electrode potentiostat, known as the “Cheapstat”
  • Cheapstat was developed by UC Santa Barbara to provide an affordable alternative to COTS potentiostats
cheapstat features
Cheapstat Features
  • Input parameters must be set through an onboard LCD and 5-way joystick
  • The display is very limited
    • LCD on the Cheapstat processor “box”
  • Provides multiple measurement modes
    • Square Wave
    • Linear Sweep
    • Stripping
    • Cyclic Voltammetry
cheapstat hardware
Cheapstat Hardware

Front Panel

PCB Assembly


To Cell


two different potentiostat systems
Two Different Potentiostat Systems
  • Two Electrode Potentiostat (Formally known as the “Ardustat”)
  • Three Electrode Potentiostat (Formally known as the “Cheapstat”)
  • Our project will entail the completion of both systems and comparison of test results of both systems.
project goals other
Project Goals - Other
  • Characterize electrical performance for a typical electrochemical device
  • Compare electrical measurements betweenthe two systems
    • Two electrode vs. three electrode measurement differences
  • Document all materials
design goals hardware
Design Goals - Hardware
  • Design and implement a three electrode potentiostat, based on the Cheapstat
    • Three electrode design
  • Ease of assembly and use by students, faculty, and staff
    • PCB assembly techniques
    • USB processor to PC interface
    • External power sources
  • Full documentation of hardware
    • Schematics
    • Simulation results
    • Assembly diagrams
    • List of Materials
major components
Major Components
  • Processor
    • Firmware
  • Display/Data Management System (DDMS)
  • Voltage Converter
processor requirements
Processor Requirements
  • Capture the test configuration
    • Measurements to be made, ranges, etc.
  • Execute the test using the measurements that have been established by the operator
  • Log and time stamp test results in NVRAM
  • Send measurement data to Display/Data Management System (DDMS) during test
  • When polled by the DDMS, send the test results in CSV format to a file on the PC
ddms requirements
DDMS Requirements
    • Test Mode
      • Execute test script that was entered during Pre-Test
      • Display results during test
  • Post Processing
    • Report generation
voltage converter
Voltage Converter
  • Three options are available:
    • Wall Wart
    • USB
    • Battery power
  • Microprocessor requires 5 VDC
    • Estimated 3 watts
design goals software
Design Goals - Software
  • Develop GUI and firmware using modern software engineering techniques
    • No spaghetti code
    • Comment all code
    • Provide a software library
  • Document all the application software and firmware
    • Installation notes
    • User’s Manual
major components1
Major Components
  • Display/Data Management System (DDMS)
  • Ardustat
    • Arduino Development Board
    • Daughtercard
ddms requirements1
DDMS Requirements
    • Capture Input Parameters
  • Transmit Configuration to Arduino Development Board
  • Start Experiment Procedure
  • Export Logged Data
arduino development board
Arduino Development Board
    • Capture Configuration
  • Send Commands to Daughtercard
  • Export Measured Data
  • Capture Measurements
  • Send Measurements to Arduino Development Board
  • Prepare four orange juice samples, one as a control, the other three containing the addition of exogenous ascorbic acid at 0.1,.02, and 0.3M respectively.
  • Prepare a working electrode using a graphite pencil “lead”.
  • Prepare a reference electrode using a standard Ag/AgCl electrode.
  • Prepare a counter electrode using a piece of platinum wiring. (This will not be used for the Two Electrode Potentiostat configuration)
  • Attach the electrodes to the Potentiostat systems.
  • Perform a cyclic voltammetry test taken from 200 to 900 mV, with a constant current of 550 mV.
  • Export the data to CSV file and graph the results.
  • Analyze graphed results against Rowe’s results using an eye inspection test.
  • Two Electrode Potentiostat
  • Three Electrode Potentiostat
  • Although the tests show that both systems work, the results were not as expected
  • Several possibilities:
    • Ag/AgCl reference electrode
    • Relay usage
    • Firmware implementation(?)
    • Chemical procedure integrity
future work
Future Work
  • Universal System
    • Verify suggested conclusion and recommendations
  • Two Electrode Potentiostat
    • Other modes of operation
    • Calibration settings
  • Three Electrode Potentiostat
    • Implement DDMS GUI
      • Removed joystick and LCD