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3D Printed and Microcontrolled: The One Hundred Dollars Scanning Electrochemical Microscope

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journal contribution
posted on 25.07.2017, 00:00 by Gabriel N. Meloni
The design and fabrication of a versatile and low-cost electrochemical-scanning probe microscope (EC-SPM) is presented. The proposed equipment relies on the use of modern prototyping tools such as 3D printers and microcontroller boards and only a few “off-the-shelf” parts to deliver a simple yet powerful EC-SPM equipment capable of performing simple space-resolved electrochemical measurements. The equipment was able to perform space-resolved electrochemical measurements using a platinum ultramicroelectrode (UME) as the working electrode on a scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) configuration and was used to record approach curves, line scans, and array scans over an insulating substrate. The performance of the proposed equipment was found to be adequate for simple SECM measurements under hindered diffusion conditions. Because of its flexible design (software and hardware), more complex array scan patterns, only found on high-end EC-SPM setups such as hopping mode scan, were easily implemented on the built equipment. Despite its simplicity, the versatility and low cost of the proposed design make it an attractive alternative as a teaching platform as well as a platform for developing more elaborate EC-SPM setups.