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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 24 (2019) pp 179-182

Cyclic Voltammetry Using an Open Platform Microcontroller-based Potentiostat

Kenzie D. Waldkoetter, Marc Hill and Eugene T. Smith*

Wilkes Honors College-Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL,
Received July 29, 2019. Accepted October 30, 2019.

Published: 31 December 2019

Abstract. This two-part exercise encompasses the construction of a microcontroller-based potentiostat and a cyclic voltammetry experiment. Supporting material should allow instructors with little experience in this technology to produce working potentiostats without investing significant time or money. The first exercise describes the assembly and testing of a potentiostat, which consists of a printed circuit board (PCB) and an mbed microcontroller. After assembly, students use the potentiostat connected to a laptop computer to record cyclic voltamograms directly into an Excel spreadsheet. The microcontroller runs a C++ program that is loaded directly into flash memory, and the spreadsheet utilizes a program written in Excel’s built-in programming language (VBA). Both programs are open source. A laboratory exercise is also described for the analysis of biologically relevant compounds- caffeic acid, epinephrine, and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). The lab is appropriate for quantitative analysis, instrumental methods, biochemistry or possibly a general chemistry course.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytic chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (292 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The following files are found in the Supporting Material .zip file: (a.) Instructor notes/Student handout, (b.)Excel template (Volt-v100.xlsm), (c.)C++ and VBA program text (Volt-v100-code.txt), (d.)C++ compiled program (Volt-v100_LPC1768.bin), (e.) PCB Eagle files (Volt-v100.brd and Volt-v100.sch). (2070 KB)

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