Scanning Flow Cell

Scanning Flow Cell

3D Model of the basic Scanning Flow Cell tip

The Scanning Flow Cell (SFC) is an advanced micro electrochemical technique and extends the classical concept of the channel electrode, in which the electrolyte continuously flows over the sample. The core development is a small polycarbonate block containing two intersecting channels which form an elliptical opening. This micro electrochemical flow cell enables facile coupling with downstream analysis (ICP-MS or UV-Vis spectroscopy). Furthermore, integration of an XYZ-positioning system allows quick and easy sample exchange. An in-house developed LabVIEW software provides fully computer controlled high-throughput measurements on various locations. Covering a large parameter space the high-throughput approach successfully transfers manpower from data requisition to data evaluation. The high precision design of the cell geometry and the well controllable flow rates furthermore allow the use of fluid simulations (Comsol Multiphysics) to predict the flow profile on the surface and to optimize the cell geometry to meet specific mass transport requirements. Moreover, the highly modular design of the system allows an optimal flexibility towards a broad range of applications.

Simulation results of the flow profile through the channels.

For example in catalyst research it is necessary to purge the electrolyte with various gases and to avoid uncontrolled diffusion of air into the system. Therefore, for this application an automated gas purging system is implemented to enable activity measurements with the scanning flow cell.
In corrosion research different electrolytes or electrolyte concentrations play an essential role. To implement this into the capabilities of the SFC for high throughput screening an automated electrolyte exchange was developed.

The SFC therefore is a versatile system for various applications and yields a lot of complementary results on electrochemical processes.

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