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A PC-controlled voltage pulse generator for electroanalytical applications

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4 Author(s)
Heredia-Lopez, Francisco J. ; Laboratorio de Neurofisiologı´a, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales “Dr. Hideyo Noguchi,” Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Apdo. Postal 2-1297, Mérida, Yucatán 97240, México ; Gongora-Alfaro, Jose L. ; Alvarez-Cervera, Fernando J. ; Bata-Garc─▒ a, Jose Luis

Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.1147961 

We present the design of a voltage pulse generator controlled by an IBM or compatible AT Personal Computer (PC) capable of synthesizing some of the voltage pulse wave forms commonly used in electrochemical studies. The included signals are: differential pulse voltametry, differential normal pulse voltametry, and differential pulse amperometry. Additionally, a triangular wave form and a constant-voltage signal, used in the pretreatment of carbon fiber microelectrodes for neurochemical analysis, are also available. Operating the generator imposes a minimum of restrictions on the specification of the duration, amplitude, and type of wave shapes. Low-cost PC-based design allows for compatibility, portability, and versatility. The operating ranges of the wave form parameters for the three voltametric signals are: initial voltage, -0.9–+0.9 V; step amplitude, 0.1–900 mV; period, 6 ms–60 s; measuring pulse amplitude, 0.1–900 mV; measuring pulse duration, 2 ms–20 s; prepulse duration, 2 ms–20 s. In the electrode pretreatment mode, the operating ranges are: amplitude, 0–±5 V; duration, unlimited; frequency, 15–240 Hz. The generator uses its own time base for the generation of all signals, thereby rendering it independent of processor clock speed or power-line frequency. The results of the experimental evaluation indicate that the system is accurate within ±10% of the expected values, taking into account the errors associated with the signal synthesis and the digitizing process. The maximum achievable scan rate is 500 V/s, and the highest frequency for the triangular wave form is 240 Hz. Therefore, the pulse generator could be used for fast cyclic voltametry (FCV). FCV and other wave forms could be added through software modules, without any hardware changes. We conclude that the PC-based electrochemistry pulse generator represents an economical and flexible alternative for electroanalytical applicati- ons. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:68 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 1997

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