Hard Potato: A Python Library to Control Commercial Potentiostats and to Automate Electrochemical Experiments

Oliver Rodríguez, Michael A. Pence, Joaquín Rodríguez-López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here, we develop and show the use of an open-source Python library to control commercial potentiostats. It standardizes the commands for different potentiostat models, opening the possibility to perform automated experiments independently of the instrument used. At the time of this writing, we have included potentiostats from CH Instruments (models 1205B, 1242B, 601E, and 760E) and PalmSens (model Emstat Pico), although the open-source nature of the library allows for more to be included in the future. To showcase the general workflow and implementation of a real experiment, we have automated the Randles-Ševčĺk methodology to determine the diffusion coefficient of a redox-active species in solution using cyclic voltammetry. This was accomplished by writing a Python script that includes data acquisition, data analysis, and simulation. The total run time was 1 min and 40 s, well below the time it would take even an experienced electrochemist to apply the methodology in a traditional manner. Our library has potential applications that expand beyond the automation of simple repetitive tasks; for example, it can interface with peripheral hardware and well-established third-party Python libraries as part of a more complex and intelligent setup that relies on laboratory automation, advanced optimization, and machine learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4840-4845
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 21 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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