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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 21 (2016) pp 143-145

An Open Platform Microcontrolled-pH Meters

Nicolas Tran and Eugene T. Smith*

Honors College-Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL 33458,
Received June 13, 2016. Accepted July 17, 2016.

Published: 8 August 2016

Abstract. A laboratory exercise, which is appropriate for an instrumental methods course, is described that involves the assembly and testing of a pH-meter. The pH meter consists of a printed circuit board (PCB) and an mbed microcontroller. Students mount surface components on a PCB using a soldering station and reflow oven. After assembly, they use the pH-meter connected to a laptop computer to record pH measurements directly into a spreadsheet. The microcontroller runs a simple C++ program that is loaded directly into flash memory, and the Excel spreadsheet utilizes a simple program written in Excel’s built-in programming language (VBA).  Supporting material, including instructional videos, should allow instructors with little experience in this technology to produce working pH meters without investing significant time or money.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; instrumental chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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