Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Massood Atashbar

Second Advisor

Dr. Ikhlas Abdel-Qader

Third Advisor

Dr. Bradley Bazuin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

In recent years impedance spectroscopy has gained popularity in becoming a viable method for the detection of pollution and biological agents.Impedance spectroscopy measurement equipment can be implemented inexpensively with off-theshelf circuit components and have proven to be effective at detecting even the most trace quantities of heavy metals and biological pathogens when paired with micro or nanoscaled sensors and adsorptive binding agents.

The focus of this research project is to implement a hand-held, field-portable impedance spectroscopy measurement system (potentiostat system) that will use external, detachable electrochemical cells and/or electrodesto perform a wide range of impedance spectroscopy experiments. The system produced from this project is capable of AC signal generation from extremely low frequencies to 200 kHz and signal amplitudes from 15 mV to 3 V. The system has a 16-bit DC resolution to bias AC signals or to produce a wide range of DC waveforms and operates anywhere in the range of ±10 V. This system also has a 13-bit measurement resolution for voltage signals and the ability to measure currents down to the tens of nanoamp range. This report will detail the design, development, and realizations of two initial prototypes for this proposed potentiostat system as well as outline the merits of this design and the results of system testing.

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