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Potentiogalvanostat vs. Potentiostat: What's the Difference?

By Aimie Carlson || Updated on May 22, 2024
A potentiogalvanostat controls both the potential and current in electrochemical experiments, while a potentiostat primarily controls only the potential.

Key Differences

A potentiogalvanostat is an electrochemical instrument that can control both the potential and the current in an electrochemical cell. This dual control capability allows for more complex experimental setups and precise control over the electrochemical processes. A potentiostat, on the other hand, is designed to control only the potential of an electrochemical cell. While it can measure the resulting current, it does not actively control it. This makes the potentiostat more suitable for experiments where only potential control is needed.
In terms of functionality, a potentiogalvanostat offers more versatility because it can switch between controlling potential and current as needed. This makes it valuable for a broader range of electrochemical experiments and applications.
The potentiostat, although limited to potential control, is often simpler to use and is sufficient for many standard electrochemical experiments. It is also generally less expensive than a potentiogalvanostat.
Potentiogalvanostats are particularly useful in research settings where precise control of both current and potential is critical, such as in studies of battery materials and corrosion. Potentiostats are commonly used in standard electrochemical studies, such as cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry.
While both instruments are used in electrochemical research, the potentiogalvanostat offers greater control and versatility compared to the potentiostat, which is more specialized and cost-effective for potential control.

Comparison Chart


Controls both potential and current
Controls only potential


Higher, can perform a wider range of experiments
Lower, limited to potential control experiments


Generally more expensive
Generally less expensive


More complex to operate
Simpler to use

Typical Use

Advanced research (e.g., battery studies)
Standard electrochemical studies (e.g., cyclic voltammetry)

Potentiogalvanostat and Potentiostat Definitions


An instrument controlling both potential and current in electrochemical cells.
The researcher used a potentiogalvanostat to precisely control the electrochemical reaction.


Commonly used in studies like cyclic voltammetry.
The electrochemist relied on a potentiostat for cyclic voltammetry.


Ensures precise electrochemical measurements by controlling two variables.
Accurate battery testing is performed with a potentiogalvanostat.


An instrument controlling the potential in electrochemical cells.
The potentiostat maintained a constant voltage during the experiment.


Allows switching between galvanostatic and potentiostatic modes.
The experiment required switching modes, so a potentiogalvanostat was chosen.


Measures the resulting current without controlling it.
Using a potentiostat, the current was recorded as the potential varied.


Used for complex electrochemical experiments requiring dual control.
Potentiogalvanostats are essential in advanced material testing.


Simpler and generally less expensive than potentiogalvanostats.
The budget allowed for purchasing a potentiostat for basic research.


Typically more complex and expensive due to its dual functionality.
The lab invested in a potentiogalvanostat for its versatility.


Essential for experiments where potential control is paramount.
Potential control was crucial, so a potentiostat was utilized.


Any device that delivers a constant electric current at a constant voltage


(physics) A device that maintains a constant potential during the course of a coulometric titration.


In what scenarios is a potentiogalvanostat preferred over a potentiostat?

It is preferred in complex experiments requiring dual control of potential and current.

Why might a researcher choose a potentiostat?

A researcher might choose it for simpler experiments focused on potential control and for cost considerations.

What is the primary function of a potentiostat?

A potentiostat controls only the potential in an electrochemical cell.

What type of studies commonly use potentiostats?

Potentiostats are commonly used in cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry studies.

What is the primary function of a potentiogalvanostat?

A potentiogalvanostat controls both the potential and the current in an electrochemical cell.

How does a potentiostat contribute to electrochemical studies?

It provides precise control over potential, crucial for many electrochemical analyses.

Are potentiostats essential for all electrochemical experiments?

No, they are essential for experiments focusing on potential control, but not all experiments.

Can a potentiostat measure current?

Yes, a potentiostat can measure the resulting current but does not control it.

What is a key advantage of using a potentiogalvanostat?

It offers greater experimental versatility by controlling both current and potential.

What kind of experiments require dual control provided by a potentiogalvanostat?

Experiments involving complex electrochemical reactions and material testing.

How does a potentiostat measure the current?

It records the current response to the controlled potential.

Is a potentiogalvanostat more expensive than a potentiostat?

Generally, yes, due to its additional functionality.

Can a potentiogalvanostat be used for battery testing?

Yes, its dual control makes it suitable for precise battery testing.

What is the main limitation of a potentiostat compared to a potentiogalvanostat?

It only controls potential and not current.

What is a common use of a potentiogalvanostat in research?

It is used in advanced material testing and battery research.

Are potentiogalvanostats more complex to operate?

Yes, due to their dual control capabilities.

What is a key feature distinguishing potentiogalvanostats?

Their ability to control both potential and current simultaneously.

Is a potentiostat simpler to use than a potentiogalvanostat?

Yes, because it has a more focused functionality.

Do potentiogalvanostats have potentiostatic modes?

Yes, they can switch to potentiostatic mode as needed.

Can a potentiostat be used for advanced electrochemical experiments?

It can be used, but may not offer the control needed for very complex experiments.
About Author
Written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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