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Additive manufacturing for electrochemical labs: An overview and tutorial note on the production of cells, electrodes and accessories

Whittingham, MJ and Crapnell, RD and Rothwell, EJ and Hurst, NJ and Banks, CE (2021) Additive manufacturing for electrochemical labs: An overview and tutorial note on the production of cells, electrodes and accessories. Talanta Open, 4.

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Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an ever-growing part of modern scientific research due to its ability to create complex features, low wastage, ever-decreasing cost of entry and rapid prototyping capabilities. Up to this point, the use of AM in electrochemical research has focused around two of the main components of the experimental setup: the working electrode, and the electrochemical cell. In this paper we highlight how researchers have utilised AM in the literature and offer our own insights into how this technology can be exploited to benefit all areas of electrochemical research. For the development of electrodes, much of the literature utilises commercially available conductive PLA filaments in conjunction with FFF printing, with only a few groups expanding into the development of their own bespoke conductive materials. AM offers huge advantages in the production of electrochemical cells, allowing users to produce bespoke designs to fit their experimental needs, rapidly producing these at low cost and easily modifying the design to improve performance. However, the use of AM in electrochemical laboratories should not stop there. We present basic designs of electrodes, cells and even accessories that can benefit all electrochemical researchers (new and experienced) in their quest for reproducible and reliable results. These designs are offered free of charge, are available to download from the Supporting Information and can be easily modified to meet any users’ specific needs. As such, we feel AM should be a staple of every laboratory and hope this work inspires people to think about all the ways that AM can benefit their research environments.

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