Your Science Zine

CheapStat: An Open-Source, “Do-It-Yourself” Potentiostat

A potentiostat is a wonderfully useful tool in the study of electrochemistry. However, their widespread adoption is limited primarily by their price, with research setups often costing up to $10,000 and barebone potentiostats still upwards of $1,000 (i.e. Dagan Chem-Clamp).  A group out of UC Santa Barbara have developed both the hardware and software necessary to build your own potentiostat for only $80. Placing it well in the range of undergrad and developing world lab budgets.

To test it’s capabilities they also ran it through a few sample projects listed below.

  • Measurements of Ascorbic Acid in Orange Juice
  • Monitoring Redox of Ferricyanide Using Cyclic Voltammetry
  • Analysis of Acetaminophen Content in Over-the-Counter Pain Medication Using Linear Sweep Voltammetry
  • Construction of a Simple E-DNA Biosensor and its Interrogation Using Square Wave Voltammetry

You can check out the specific results of the experiments in their paper, but as you can see, used properly this devices uses are pretty exciting.

Download CheapStat firmware, schematics, and instructions 


  • René Becker

    Incredibly cool! Except for the fact that the device only measures -1..1 V, rendering it useless for (non-bio) chemists…