Potentiostat for Cyclic Voltammetry


Order Code: T2006B1-UK
Not in stock

Easy-to-use potentiostat without the high price

Perform cyclic voltammetry and take electrochemical measurements for less

The Ossila Potentiostat is a powerful but easy-to-use measurement device for performing cyclic voltammetry. With a low price, FREE worldwide shipping and our two-year warranty, more laboratories than ever can now be equipped with a three electrode system for measuring and analysing the electronic properties of materials.

The full system is available for £1600 and includes a potentiostat, electrochemical cell, electrodes and cyclic voltammetry software. The potentiostat can also be purchased on its own (without an electrochemical cell or electrodes but with the PC software) at a reduced cost.

Potentiostat
The Ossila Potentiostat for cyclic voltammetry

What is a Potentiostat?

Potentiostats are control and measurement devices designed to output a controlled potential. Unlike other voltage sources, potentiostats contain feedback circuitry between the output and measured potential. This enables them to maintain a set potential through a circuit with varying resistance by increasing or decreasing the output so that the measured potential remains constant.

Potentiostats are at the center of the electrochemistry field.

What are Potentiostats Used For?

The Ossila Potentiostat has been designed specifically for performing cyclic voltammetry, one of the most widely used electrochemical techniques. By linearly cycling the applied voltage of the working electrode to create a duck-shaped plot of potential versus current, known as a cyclic voltammogram, the cyclic voltammetry method reveals a number of important electrochemical properties.

Potentiostat in the laboratory
The small footprint of the Ossila Potentiostat makes it ideal for busy labs

Key Features

To allow for a wide range of material characterisation, the Ossila Potentiostat is capable of outputting potentials of up 10 V and measuring currents as low as 10 nA. Easy-to-use PC software is included with the system and makes it straight-forward for anyone to obtain a cyclic voltammogram.

Wide Potential and Current Range
The potentiostat is capable of delivering potentials up to ±10 V and can measure currents between ±10 nA and ±150 mA over five ranges.

Quick and Easy
Set up is as simple as plugging it in and installing the PC software. Start measuring within minutes of unboxing the potentiostat.

Compact and Light
At only 12.5 x 18.5 cm, the small size of the Ossila Potentiostat enables it to fit into even the busiest laboratory.

Intuitive Software
Our intuitive PC software makes it faster and easier to perform cyclic voltammetry measurements.

Potentiostat (rear view)
The Ossila Potentiostat is easy to set up and use (rear view shown)

Applications

Potentiostats are primarily used in electrochemistry to control the potential between the working and reference electrodes. Measurements which can be taken include:

  • Reduction and oxidation potentials
  • Reversibility of a reaction
  • Electron transfer kinetics
  • Energy levels of semiconducting polymers

What's Included

The following items are included as standard:

  • Potentiostat
  • 4 mm banana cables and crocodile clips
  • Cyclic voltammetry PC software
  • USB-B cable
  • 24 V / 2 A DC power adaptor

If purchased with a cell, the following items are also included at a reduced cost:

Specifications

Potential range ±7.5 V
Potential compliance ±10 V
Applied potential resolution 333 µV
Applied potential accuracy ±10 mV offset
Maximum current ±150 mA
Current ranges ±20 μA to ±150 mA (5 ranges)
Current measurement resolution 50 nA (at 20 μA range)
Communication USB-B
Overall Dimensions Width: 125 mm Height: 55 mm Depth: 175 mm
Weight 600 g

Pricing and Options

The complete three electrode system comes with three electrodes and a high quality cell, included at a reduced price for purchasers of the Ossila Potentiostat. A lower price option is also available if you wish to buy the potentiostat without a cell. Both packages qualify for FREE worldwide shipping and our two-year equipment warranty.

Price with cell £1600
Price without cell (potentiostat only) £1300

Cyclic Voltammetry Potentiostat Software

The Ossila Potentiostat comes with control and measurement software for performing cyclic voltammetry. Software updates are also provided at no extra charge and are available to download from our website.

As with all of our software, data is saved to comma-separated value (.csv) files so that you can analyse it with your favourite tool. The settings you define are saved alongside your measurement data so that you always have a record of your experimental parameters.

Profiles allow you to save commonly used settings configurations so that you can quickly repeat measurements without re-configuring the potentiostat, further speeding up your research. 

Ferrocene cyclic voltammogram
Cyclic Voltammetry measurement of ferrocene taken with the Ossila Potentiostat

Software Key Features

Our intuitive potentiostat software enables you to easily perform cyclic voltammetry. Simply set the current range, start potential, potentials at which the scan changes direction, scan rate, and number of cycles and click 'Measure'. Watch the measurement as it happens with live plotting of data.

Intuitively-designed user interface
Easy to use, start using the potentiostat to take electrochemical measurements within minutes

Live updating plot
Plot cyclic voltammograms in real time

Data saved to .csv file
Software agnostic data exports enable you to use your favourite analytical tools

Create settings profiles
Repeat cyclic voltammetry experiments without having to re-enter your settings

Software Requirements

Operating System Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)
CPU Dual Core 2.5 GHz
RAM 2 GB
Available Hard Drive Space 110 MB
Monitor Resolution 1280 x 960
Communication USB 2.0

Software Installation

To install the cyclic voltammetry PC software, download the latest version from our website or insert the supplied USB memory stick into your computer and run the ‘Ossila-Cyclic-Voltammetry-Installer-vX-X-X-X’ file.

On Windows 10, the necessary drivers are installed automatically when you first connect the Potentiostat to your computer. If you are using an older version of Windows you can find both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers either on the software download page or in the ‘SMU-Driver’ folder on the memory stick.

Please refer to the Potentiostat product manual for more information.

The Ossila Potentiostat has been designed to make it quick and easy to perform cyclic voltammetry. Purchase the complete package to enjoy a significant discount on the cell and electrodes (compared to when bought separately) and get everything you need to set up a three electrode system and start taking measurements.

Experimental Setup for Cyclic Voltammetry

Cyclic voltammetry is performed using a potentiostat, an electrochemical cell, and three electrodes. Electrochemical reactions happen at the working electrode, the counter electrode allows current to flow, and the reference electrode provides the system with a fixed potential that remains stable throughout the experiment.

Using separate electrodes for the counter and reference electrodes, unlike in a two electrode system, allows you to control the potential between the working and reference probes while measuring the current between the working and counter probes. This makes electrochemical methods like cyclic voltammetry possible.

Electrochemical cell
An electrochemical cell connected to an Ossila Potentiostat

In cyclic voltammetry, linearly ramping potential is applied between the working and reference electrodes. This potential is cycled such that the ramp is applied in one direction, then in reverse, forming a triangular wave. Whilst this is occurring, the electrical current is measured between the working and counter electrodes.

To set up a three electrode system for cyclic voltammetry, fill the cell with an electrolyte solution and place the three electrodes within. This can then be connected to the sockets on the front of the Ossila Potentiostat using banana cables and crocodile clips. The red socket connects to the working electrode, the black socket connects to the counter electrode, and the blue socket connects to the reference electrode.

How to Perform Cyclic Voltammetry with the Ossila Potentiostat

Potentiostat cyclic voltammetry settings
Potentiostat software settings

Once you have set up your three electrode electrochemical cell and connected it to the potentiostat, performing Cyclic Voltammetry takes only a few clicks.

The potentiostat will be detected automatically on starting the Ossila Cyclic Voltammetry PC software, and from here the current range, potentials, scan rate and number of cycles can all be specified.

When you are ready to start the scan, click “Measure” and watch in real time as the test is performed and a cyclic voltammogram is generated.

The system will sweep the potential between the working electrode and reference electrode while measuring the current between the working electrode and counter electrode. This will be repeated for the specified number of cycles. If ‘Save After Measurement’ is turned on, the measurement data and settings will be saved as CSV file once the sweep has finished.

Find out more about cyclic voltammetry

Cyclic Voltammetry of Ferrocene

Ferrocene (Fc) is used as the standard reference for cyclic voltammetry.

Before you start, ensure that all apparatus, solvents and electrolytes are completely dry. The presence of any water and its redox by-products may reduce the solvent potential window or react with the solvent or analyte. The cell and electrodes should always be thoroughly rinsed immediately after each experiment with the solvent that was used in your electrolyte.

We also recommend switching on the potentiostat 30 minutes prior to use. This will allow it to warm up and reach a stable temperature, which will help to ensure a stable measurement.

How to Prepare an Electrolyte Solution

The first step when preparing an electrolyte solution is to choose which solvent and electrolyte you are going to use given the solvent potential window and the solubility of your analyte. Note that most electrolytes are hygroscopic, so should be stored in a desiccator or inert atmosphere.

For this example we are going to use a 0.1 M solution of tetraethylammonium hexafluorophosphate (TEAPF6) in acetonitrile as our background electrolyte, but other electrolyte salts and solvents could be used instead.

In order to make up 20 ml of 0.1 M solution, weigh out 0.550 g of dry tetraethylammonium hexafluorophosphate (275.2 g/mol) into a dry volumetric flask. Add acetonitrile up to mark of the volumetric flask and stir until the electrolyte has dissolved.

Secure the electrochemical cell with a clamp to ensure it is stable before adding the 20 ml of electrolyte solution. Once dissolved, add approximately 10 mg of Fc to the solution and stir to dissolve it.

Setting up the Electrochemical Cell

With the electrolyte solution prepared, the electrochemical cell is nearly ready. Place the cap on the electrochemical cell and insert the working and counter electrodes into two of the holes.

You can now prepare the reference solution, in this case a 0.01 M solution of silver nitrite in acetonitrile. Prepare the solution in a volumetric flask and add it into the reference electrode tube with a syringe and needle until the tube is approximately 2/3 full.

Insert the reference electrode into the final hole in the cap. To remove dissolved oxygen, gently bubble inert gas through the solution using a thin tube or needle for approximately 10 minutes.

Electrochemical cell with electrodes
Electrochemical cell with electrodes

Taking a Measurement

Once the electrochemical is set up, use banana cables to connect it to the correct ports on the front of the Ossila Potentiostat and start the cyclic voltammetry software. The potentiostat will be detected automatically.

Various measurement settings can now be set.

  • Choose the appropriate current range for the material being measured. Fc will give a signal in the tens to hundreds of microamps, so the 200 μA range is suitable.
  • Fc undergoes a reversible single electron transfer between 0 and 0.2 V (versus Ag/AgNO3) so set the 'Start Potential' and 'Potential Vertex 2' fields to -0.4 V and the 'Potential Vertex 1' field to 0.5 V.
  • The scan rate will affect the magnitude of the current peaks in the scan, with faster scan rates resulting in greater measured currents. In this measurement we will use a scan rate of 100 mV/s.
  • The number of cycles is how many times the measurement will be performed, and typically is set to 1.

When you are ready to start taking the measurement, withdraw the tubing or needle used to degas the cell until it is no longer in the solution and click the “Measure” button.

Ferrocene cyclic voltammogram
Cyclic voltammogram of ferrocene taken with the Ossila Potentiostat

Maintenance

The cell and electrodes should always be thoroughly rinsed immediately after each experiment with the solvent that was used in your electrolyte. Always set the cell to dry, preferably in an oven, before you prepare your electrolyte. This helps reduce contamination of your solution from water.


To the best of our knowledge the technical information provided here is accurate. However, Ossila assume no liability for the accuracy of this information. The values provided here are typical at the time of manufacture and may vary over time and from batch to batch.