In some cases you want to carry out your measurements in the field, in several places and have results available immediately. That is why PalmSens has developed a portable battery-powered potentiostat and a USB-powered potentiostat that you can connect directly to your phone.
The major advantage of a portable potentiostat is that it is easy to bring along and to actually detect your desired parameters on location, for example when you want to know the concentration of lead in the surface water of a well.
Another benefit of a PalmSens portable potentiostat is that it can easily be used in a laboratory setup, it does not consume valuable work space on a lab bench. It is also easy to connect the potentiostat to computers and tablets using a USB cable or even wireless via Bluetooth. The most portable of all portable potentiostats is the Sensit Smart which can be connected directly to your Android phone.
How does a portable potentiostat work?
A portable potentiostat puts a potential on a certain (electrode) surface. The amount of electrons on the surface is reduced or increased initiating electrochemical reactions. This can be used as a sensor. Every sensor has a certain sensitivity to the substance you are measuring. For this reason, there are many different sensors that react in a different ways to certain chemical substances.
Sometimes a sensor can be used multiple times, often sensors are used as a disposable, so a one-time use and then the sensor is permanently changed by the reactions that occurred at the electrode surface.
When is a portable potentiostat used?
Potentiostats are mainly used in electrochemistry. For example, when electrochemical researchers want to prove how much lead is in the drinking water, or how much iron is in blood or investigate how rainwater affects the surface of a certain metal. With a portable potentiostat you can measure this in real time, on site and without the need of making a laboratory setup.
There are several types of portable potentiostats used by electrochemical researchers:
- Many researchers at a university or laboratory use a portable potentiostat to detect all sorts of substances in certain fluids (for example using the PalmSens4)
- There are also portable potentiostats that are only used to detect one particular substance. PalmSens, for this reason, makes customized portable potentiostats custom, so-called market-ready OEM potentiostats.
- The small portable EmStat Blue potentiostat of PalmSens is designed with a convenient SPE (screen printed electrode) connector that allows on site measurement.
- Sensit Smart: The Sensit Smart is the world smallest ready-to-go potentiostat available on the market.
Without associated software you cannot operate your portable potentiostat. PalmSens portable potentiostats are sold including intuitive software, which makes it easy to get started (Figure 2a) and it can be installed on multiple computers and laptops. PalmSens also provides an app for Android devices called PStouch (Figure 2b), you can download this free of charge in the Google Play Store. You can also use all of the currently available spreadsheet software that is useful for creating charts using the Export Data functionality in PSTrace.
Portable potentiostat prices
Portable potentiostats usually come at a certain price. However, PalmSens managed to develop a series of portable potentiostats that are highly affordable, definitely with all the given specifications.