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Although potentiostats are the foundation of modern electrochemical research, they have seen relatively little application in resource poor settings, such as undergraduate laboratory courses and the developing world. One reason for the low penetration of potentiostats is their cost, as even the least expensive commercially available laboratory potentiostats sell for more than one thousand dollars. An inexpensive electrochemical workstation could thus prove useful in educational labs, and increase access to electrochemistry-based analytical techniques for food, drug and environmental monitoring.

The CheapStat [is] an inexpensive (<$80), open-source (software and hardware), hand-held potentiostat that can be constructed by anyone who is proficient at assembling circuits. This device supports a number of potential waveforms necessary to perform cyclic, square wave, linear sweep and anodic stripping voltammetry. As we demonstrate, it is suitable for a wide range of applications ranging from food- and drug-quality testing to environmental monitoring, rapid DNA detection, and educational exercises. The device’s schematics, parts lists, circuit board layout files, sample experiments, and detailed assembly instructions are available in the supporting information and are released under an open hardware license.

[Thanks, Aaron!]

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. This is what I love about open source.  $1000 device?  Why?  Why not give it away to any who are willing to build it?  Love it.

  2. Fatima says:

    I think it is the effectiveness of open-source to just save money by a little consuming your own time.

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  3. Nick Sotier says:

    Projects like this are truly awe inspiring. They bring science to the everyday man and lead to great exploration of the mind. Open source can help advance mankind by opening the exploration of science to everyone. Thank you for your innovation.

  4. any plans to widen the potential window?  how about increase current sensitivity?

  5. Has anyone made this except the paper authors?

    Looks like a very interesting Project for me but as I delved into it it seems that it would not be nearly as inexpensive as reported. THe sensor is not included meaning you would have to buy one ( they are expensive9 and the paper on how to make one is behing an expensive paper wall. The sensor most likely invovles buying silver, which is not exactly inexpensive.