MRS Meetings and Events


DS04.03.05 2022 MRS Spring Meeting

The ElectroLab—An Integrated Platform for High-throughput Characterization of Redox-Active Materials

When and Where

May 9, 2022
3:00pm - 3:30pm

Hawai'i Convention Center, Level 3, 313B



Oliver Rodriguez1,Charles Schroeder1,Michael Pence1,Hung Nguyen1,Edward Jira1,Inkyu Oh1,Joaquin Rodriguez-Lopez1

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1


Oliver Rodriguez1,Charles Schroeder1,Michael Pence1,Hung Nguyen1,Edward Jira1,Inkyu Oh1,Joaquin Rodriguez-Lopez1

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1
Recent efforts in developing non-aqueous redox flow batteries have focused on high-throughput synthesis of new redox-active molecules. Despite recent progress, a key bottleneck remains in high-throughput electrochemical characterization to enable the efficient discovery of new high-performance materials for energy storage applications. In this talk, we present a new integrated platform for high-throughput electrochemical characterization called the ElectroLab which combines digital microfluidics (DMF) for fluidic handling with advanced microelectrochemical characterization of redox-active materials. A commercially available electrowetting-on-dielectric digital microfluidics platform was adapted to manipulate non-aqueous droplets with small volumes (< 5 uL). Automated fluidic handling allows for efficient droplet-based operations, including transport, mixing and splitting to prepare solutions with different redoxmer or electrolyte concentrations directly on the device, thereby greatly decreasing the time required for sample preparation. Direct numerical simulations are used to understand and optimize droplet manipulation and mixing, enabling enhanced mixing quality and avoiding common failure modes such as satellite drop formation. Automated flow control allows for precise positioning of droplets on microelectrochemical cells interfaced with a programmable potentiostat. Electrochemial characterization is performed using three different electrode geometries, including a macroelectrode for rapid testing, a series of ultramicroelectrodes for determining kinetic parameters, and an interdigitated array for the detection of intermediates in a generation/collection arrangement. Collection efficiencies greater than 90% were predicted by simulations and experimentally confirmed with a model redox species, and the micro-scale dimensions of the electrodes directly enable the study of high resistive media that is complicated by larger area arrays. Device integration is accomplished by custom software development, including a desktop application that includes predefined routines to automate typical experiments and their corresponding data analysis. Broadly, the ElectroLab is designed with high levels of device modularity and user-friendly software interfaces, allowing for new users without expertise in electrochemistry to fully characterize redox-active molecules by tailoring to specific applications for electrochemical analysis. Overall, the ElectroLab provides a new user-friendly platform for high-throughput characterization of redox-active materials based on a fully integrated electrochemistry lab-on-a-chip device.


autonomous research

Symposium Organizers

Jeffrey Lopez, Northwestern University
Chibueze Amanchukwu, University of Chicago
Rajeev Surendran Assary, Argonne National Laboratory
Tian Xie, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Symposium Support

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature