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ProboStat

The ProboStat™ is a cell for measurements of electrical properties, transport parameters, and kinetics of materials, solid/gas interfaces and electrodes under controlled atmospheres at high temperatures up to 1600ºC. The versatile construction and broad range of accessories of the system are based on years of development and experience in the Kofstad/Norby group at the University of Oslo. A ProboStat™ system offers a cost-effective alternative to developing and building your own cell for studies, characterization and testing of inorganic materials, electroceramics, fuel cell components, membrane materials, etc.

Brief description

The sample under test rests on a ca. 50 cm long support tube of alumina, inside a closed outer tube of alumina or silica. The sample can be contacted with 2, 3 or 4 electrodes of e.g. platinum, using disk, van der Pauw, or bar geometries. A spring-loaded alumina assembly holds the sample and electrodes in place. 16 electrical feedthroughs allow use of 4 shielded electrode leads, surface guard, and up to three thermocouples (e.g. for Seebeck coefficient measurements). Electrical connections are made via coax cables suitable for standard impedance spectrometer connectors, and standard thermocouple compensation cables. Gases can be fed in single or dual chamber modes directly onto or from electrodes, allowing measurements under controlled atmospheres, transport number measurements in gradients, and testing of fuel cell, pump, and sensor components. Gas supply is via Swagelok quick-connects.

Materials properties measured and applicable methods

  • Conductivity vs T, pO2, pH2O, etc.
  • DC, AC, impedance spectroscopy
  • Dielectric properties, loss, etc.
  • Disk, van der Pauw, and bar geometries
  • 2, 3, and 4 electrodes
  • Ionic transport number
  • Proton transport number
  • H/D isotope effects
  • Seebeck coefficient
  • I-V-characteristics
  • Fuel cell components and single cell testing
  • Electrode kinetics
  • Electrochemical pumping, gas permeation and electrocatalysis with gas analysis (e.g. GC or MS) on outlets
  • Sensor testing
  • Poling of ferroelectrics possible with the high-voltage (kV) version
  • High-current version
  • Annealing or sintering under controlled atmosphere

 

Example of connection to disk samples for impedance measurements. The schematics show principle of spring loads and regular 2-electrode 4-wire setup with dual gas supplies and thermocouple. Part of base unit with feedthroughs is shown in the photo below.




 

Specifications

  • Outer tube diameter: 40 mm
  • Overall length: 75 cm, shorter versions available (-10, -20, -30 cm) 
  • Single end cell assembly
  • Sample fixation: spring force via alumina rods
  • All hot-zone electrode leads detachable via feedthrough mini-connectors
  • Support tube systems from 10 to 24 mm diameter detachable
  • For up to 24 mm diameter disk samples
  • For up to 50 mm long bar samples
  • Temperature: typical long term: < 1400ºC, short term: < 1600ºC
  • Atmosphere: Oxidizing, reducing, or corrosive; wet or dry; from small overpressure to low vacuum
  • 6 BNC electrode connections for impedance spectrometers etc.
  • Internal shields bridging, ground and guard switches
  • 3 thermocouple connections
  • 4 Swagelok gas quick-connects to 1/8'' tubing (other connections on request)
  • Standard materials: Alumina AL23, Pt, Pt10%Rh, Ni-plated brass
  • Water cooling (or heating) of cold end base unit is possible
  • Spare parts supply, also of hot zone consumables

Custom-made solutions

For special requirements may in many cases be offered; SS, other ceramics and metals, high-voltage (10 kV), high-current (15 A), liquid samples, high pressures, etc.

We also provide:

  • Measurement software
  • Furnaces and temperature control
  • Atmosphere control and gas mixing
  • Measurement instrumentation
  • Multiplexing of several cells to e.g. one impedance spectrometer
  • Measurement systems: Sample holder, Furnace, Instrument(s), Control software
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