Take two different metals, place an ion transporting medium between them, wire them up to be connected outside the electrolyte solution (perhaps to a voltmeter or potentiostat) and you’ve made a battery.
With the ever-increasing demand for portable power, batteries are becoming more and more important. As demands on battery performance increase, so do demands on the systems designed to test them. Gamry appreciates the challenge and is equipped today to test the power systems of tomorrow.
Electrochemistry has come a long way from potentiometric measurements, and battery technologies have developed quite rapidly, particularly in the last couple decades. What remains constant is that batteries are—materials science not withstanding—pure electrochemical devices. Electrochemical studies and potentiostats are, therefore, critical to battery research.
Battery engineers are tasked with producing higher energy densities at lower prices, while focusing on safety concerns, as well. Furthermore, secondary (rechargeable) batteries add additional cycle-life requirements and testing.
Battery research and testing features two semi-distinct areas: materials development and full-cell testing. Materials development uses many different chemical and analysis techniques including electrochemical techniques like cyclic voltammetry to determine which materials will be good battery candidates. Full cell testing, which includes cycling (charge/discharge testing) and impedance spectroscopy, then brings the materials together and determines how well they work together in practice.
Gamry’s high performance Reference systems can be operated using PWR800 Electrochemical Energy Software which, along with EIS300, is designed to cover the complete electrochemical needs of battery researchers.
The PWR800 takes advantage of the high performance and versatility of the Reference systems, particularly the Reference 3000—the preferred instrument for batteries. Along with higher current and compliance voltages, the Reference 3000 has an optional Auxiliary Electrometer (AE) and works with Gamry’s 30k Booster. The AE allows measurements on individual cells in a battery stack, which is good for cycling and is very powerful for EIS, where it effectively turns the single Reference 3000 into a high performance 8-channel EIS system.
Still, many researchers may find themselves needing more than 8-channels. Gamry multichannel systems are more powerful and versatile than any other multi-channel system on the market. For new Li+ technology with expected lifetimes of 5-10 years, lower potentiostat performance increases the time span in which testing needs to be carried out, hampering research efforts at all levels. Gamry does not sacrifice performance in the MultEchem, so you don't have to sacrifice your time.
Gamry’s Applications Notes include several that are relevant to battery users. We also have electrochemistry specialists available over email or on the phone that understand battery testing and can get you pointed in the right direction.