Electrocatalytic Green Engineering Group

Electrochemical Tool Kit (ECTk)

ECTk screenshoot

ECTk, the electrochemical tool kit, is a command line based application built on Tcl. It allows to define electrochemical experiments either interactively or via a script file sourced by ECTk. Virtually any potensiostat can be driven, the only condition being that the instrument has analogue inputs and outputs. ECTk, written in C++, is developed and maintained by the Electrocatalytic Green Engineering Group.

ECTk can communicate via any analogue IO board having at least one analogue output and two inputs. The comedi library is used to communicate with the IO board. This offers a great flexibility as a large number of IO boards are supported by comedi. Currently, ECTk is running under Linux and was developed under Linux Ubuntu.

ECTk was developed with the aim to be able to conduct electrochemical experiments with a great flexibility. In particular, ECTk can be extended to satisfy the needs for a particular application. It is for example possible to drive, besides a potensiostat, simultaneously other instruments like a rotating electrode set-up. In our team ECTk is used for various electrochemical experiments ranging from standard techniques (e.g. cyclic voltammetry) to very application specific ones (synthesis of nano-particles by glow discharge electrolysis for example).

Installing ECTk

Before installing ECTk, make sure your system contains the following components: All these compenents are available in Ubuntu via the package manager. You can try ECTk wihtout any IO card attached to it. Even not required, we recommend as well to install QtiPlot as ECTk is able to save data in this format.

ECTk is free software. Before installing and using the code read the license.

ECTk is under constant development. The latest version can be downloaded here.

Start by downloading the ECTk archive. Uncompress it in a folder of your choice. To install ECTk, open a terminal and go to the ECTK/v1/src folder and compile the source code using the following command (you have to have administrator privileges):

> sudo make install

This will install ECTk and its man pages. To run ECTk in a terminal use the command:

> ectk

the following screen should display:

ECTk terminal

Keep in mind that while running ECTk you must have the right to access the IO board you are using (this depend on you user privileges). In case you are unable to connect the board, try to run ECTk in root privileges (using 'sudo ectk' for example). If it works then the problem comes from your user privilege settings. Typically you have to include your user account in the group managing the iocard (typically called 'iocard').

To learn more about ECTk, start by reading the ECTk man pages by typing:

> man ectk