Scanning electrochemical workstation

ac/dc-SDS – M470.

Scanning droplet cell measurements for the M470

The SDS470 is perfect for any conducting or semi-conducting sample. Because the technique is centred on a confined, local electrochemical cell, it can potentially be used for applications in a wide variety of fields from sensors to catalysis

Perform Scanning Droplet Cell measurements on BioLogic’s modular M470 with the SDS470 option.

The Scanning Droplet System (SDS) performs Scanning Droplet Cell (SDC) measurements. In SDC measurements the probe is a droplet which moves across the sample surface in x and y. The sample acts as the working electrode in the measurement, while the reference and counter electrodes are contained within the SDC head. SDC performs direct local electrochemical measurements by confining the electrochemical cell to only the area in contact with the droplet cell. On the SDS470, the droplet cell is treated exactly as a bulk electrochemical cell, meaning any electrochemical measurement, including Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), can be performed within this local cell. Furthermore, the SDS470 allows maps of the local electrochemical activity of a sample to be plotted.

Scanning droplet cell be used for any conducting or semi-conducting sample. Because the technique is based on a confined, local electrochemical cell, it has the potential for application in a wide variety of fields from sensors to catalysis. Scanning droplet cell has found use in materials measurements to investigate combinatorial libraries of the electrochemical properties of alloys of differing compositions. Scanning droplet cell is used in corrosion science. Of particular interest for these studies is the ability to refresh the electrolyte droplet. By changing the rate at which the droplet refreshes the effect of flow rate on corrosion has been investigated. SDC is also applicable in surface modification studies, allowing controlled sample lithography to occur.

Overview: Direct local electrochemical measurements

  • Can be used with all electrochemical, corrosion, and EIS experiments
  • Performs both dc-SDC and ac-SDC measurements as standard

Sample measurement without full exposure to electrolyte

Exposing an active sample to electrolyte for the duration of an experiment is not always desirable. For some samples this can mean that for long experiments the sample states, at the start and the end of the experiment, are completely different. SDC provides a method to perform local measurements on a sample, and measure x,y activity maps of a sample without full exposure to the electrolyte. In an SDC measurement, only the sample area under the droplet probe is exposed to electrolyte. Therefore researchers can be confident that each point of the sample measured is in the same initial state.

ac measurements as standard

Alternating Current (ac)-SDC is unique to the SDS470 system. All SDS470 systems come with the ability to run both dc-SDC and ac-SDC measurements as standard. Like dc-SDC, in ac-SDC the electrochemical cell is confined to the area contacted by the droplet. In an ac-SDC line or area scan an ac-current of known frequency is applied to the sample throughout the measurement. This provides truly local electrochemical impedance measurements, where the sample is probed directly on a local level. ac-SDC can allow for sharper images than possible with other local electrochemical impedance measurements because only the point of interest is measured at each point.

Full range of experiments available

SDC on the SDS470 system can perform a wide range of experiments as standard. Aside from the standard area and line scan experiments performed with a constant applied dc- or ac-bias it is also possible to use any of the full range of electrochemistry, corrosion, and electrochemical impedance measurements in the M470 software. This provides researchers with the ability to modify the experimental configuration to measure the information of interest in a local technique.


Workstation Software

The Scanning Electrochemical Workstation software provides unique capabilities and interactivity in support of the Model 370 and Model 470 nanometer-resolution scanning probe microscopes. This highly ergonomic software has been designed to facilitate and improve the user experience and render work flows more efficient:

  • Improved data analysis, manipulation and interactivity
  •  Automatic measurement and sequencing functionalities.

Over 40 discrete experiments provided throughout, each with their own individual variations

Scanning Stage
Scan Range (x,y,z) 110 mm x 110 mm x 110 mm
Minimal Step Size (x,y,z) 20 nm
Positioning Closed loop positioning, linear, zero hysteresis encoder with direct real-time readout of displacement in x, y, z
Linear position encoder resolution 20 nm
Max Scan Speed 10 mm/s
Measurement Resolution 32-bit decoder @ up to 40 MHz
Dimensions 500 mm (H) x 400 mm (W) x 675 mm (D)




Compliance Voltage ±12 V
Applied Potential ±10 V
Resolution 300 µV
Measured Potential ±10 V
Resolution 1.65 µV
Current Ranges 100 pA to 1A
Maximum Current ± 500 mA
Current Resolution 76 aA
Floating Capability Floating Mode
Cell Connections 2, 3, or 4 electrode
Scan Rate 1 µV/s to 200 V/s
Modes Potentiostat, Galvanostat, OCP
EIS Capabilities
Frequency Range 10 µHz to 1 MHz
Analyzer Accuracy 1%, 1°
Frequency Resolution 0.1 nHz


SDS Head
Included SDS Heads 500 µm PEEK, 100 µm PEEK


500 µm PEEK
Type Flow
Reference Electrode Ag/AgCl within sensor head
Counter Electrode Pt wire within capillary
Head Construction PEEK with silicone rubber tubing
Aperture ID 500 µm, 0.196 mm2
Resolution < 1 mm depending on solution/surface


100 µm PEEK 
Type Reservoir
Reference Electrode Pt wire
Counter Electrode Pt wire
Head Construction PEEK
Aperture 100 µm, 0.00785 mm2
Resolution 200 µm depending on solution/surface


Pump System
Type Peristaltic
Channels 2-Channels


Available Experiments dc-SDS Line Scan, dc-SDS Area Scan, ac-SDS Area Scan

How do I use the M470?

Connection of 3300 potentiostats to the cell

Connection of SP-300 potentiostats to the cell

Setting up the probe & building the MicroTriCell

Experimental conditions and set-up

Probe characterization

Sample characterization

Approach experiment on resin (insulator)

Approach experiment on Gold (conductor)

Line Scan and Area Scan

Is there any analysis software available for use with the M470?

What application areas can I use the M470 for?

I see you supply 1 µm probes. Can I use these with the M470?

The following application note relates to 1 µm probes

Can I perform constant distance measurements?

Related topics

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