Materials Science

Unlocking the Potential of New Materials

Today’s consumers are demanding smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more capable electronics than ever before with ever-longer operating times. To address these conflicting demands, researchers need to develop new materials, miniaturize existing devices, and enhance device efficiencies. The effort to boost device density and performance while reducing power consumption has led to research into graphene and other two-dimensional (2-D) solids with high carrier mobility, as well as organic semiconductors and nano-scale devices.

High efficiency batteries based on new electrolyte and electrode materials will be critical to extending operating times. Advanced fuel cell technologies designed to make the next generation of electric vehicles more efficient and affordable are also under investigation. The desire for greener power generation solutions is spurring investigation into higher temperature superconductors and the power semiconductors essential to power conversion. Materials like gallium arsenide (GaAs) and silicon carbide (SiC) will be crucial to future power transmission technologies. Materials research is also central to boosting the conversion efficiency and power output of solar cells. Boosting the efficiency of laser diodes to increase data transmission capacity requires studying new materials and structures.

Ultra-sensitive measurements are central to materials characterization, from measuring femtoamp-level leakage currents to micro-ohm-level resistance measurements for assessing the resistivity of high carrier mobility materials. On the other end of the scale, characterizing the latest insulators often entails teraohm measurements. Superconductor or nanomaterials research performed at near 0⁰K requires reducing the level of power applied to prevent self-heating, which can affect the device’s or material’s response or damage it. That calls for sourcing very low DC currents or current pulses.

Hall Effect Measurements for Materials Characterization

Learn why Hall effect measurements are so widely used in materials characterization applications.

Hall Effect Measurements for Materials Characterization

Ultra-High Resistance and Resistivity Measurements

Discover why background currents can complicate measuring resistance and resistivity accurately.

Ultra-High Resistance and Resistivity Measurements

Performing Cyclic Voltammetry Measurements Using 2450-EC or 2460-EC Electrochemistry Lab Systems

Chemical engineers, chemists, and other scientists use electrical measurement techniques to study chemical reactions and dynamics. The most commonly-used measurement technique, cyclic voltammetry (CV,) is typically performed using a potentiostat. This application note describes how to use either a Keithley 2450-EC or 2460-EC Electrochemistry Lab System – a high accuracy, lower cost alternative for e-chemistry labs – to perform cyclic voltammetry and other electrochemistry tests.

The 2450-EC and 2460-EC Electrochemistry Lab Systems have built-in test scripts for performing cyclic voltammetry, open circuit potential measurements, potential pulse and square wave with current measurements, current pulse and square wave with potential measurements, chronoamperometry, and chronopotentiometry without the use of a computer. An electrochemistry translation cable is included to make easy connections between the instrument and a 3-terminal electrochemical cell.


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