Electrochemical dilatometer ECD-3

Test cell for the measurement of electrode strain (thickness change) in aprotic as well as aqueous electrolytes

Watch your electrodes breathing

The ECD-3 is a research grade instrument dedicated to the measurement of charge-induced strain (expansion and shrinkage) of electrodes down to the sub-micrometer range. It is particularly developed for the investigation of Li-ion battery and other insertion-type electrodes. It may be used in organic as well as aqueous electrolyte solutions.
The ECD-3 is the result of more than 10 years experience in this field. The heart of the ECD-3 is an electrochemical cell, which is hermetically tight against ambient atmosphere. The two electrodes inside are separated by a stiff glass frit, which is fixed in position. The upper (working) electrode is sealed through a thin metal membrane, which transmits any charge-induced height change to the sensor/load unit on the top.

A high-resolution displacement transducer detects dimensional changes ranging from 20 nanometers up to 500 micrometers during an experiments, which can take between a few seconds and many days. A simple weight serves to adjust the load on the working electrode. The potential of the working electrode can either be controlled against the counter electrode (cell voltage control) or against an additional reference electrode.

Improvements of the ECD-3 (in comparison to previous versions)

  • Elimination of tubing and external valves reduces the risk of leakage and saves effort.

  • Use of special polymer with minimal water absorption reduces drying effort and accelerates work flow.

  • Use of a smaller glass frit reduces amount of electrolyte required (approx. 0.5 cm³)

  • Better handling saves time and effort.

ECD-3 overview

Height 230 mm
Width 100 mm
Depth 110 mm
Weight approx. 1.5 kg
Separator diameter 12 mm
Working (upper) electrode diameter 10 mm
Counter (lower) electrode diameter 12 mm
Displacement sensor system LVDT
Displacement range 500 µm
Displacement resolution ≤ 50 nm
Signal drift (sample-free) ≤ 100 nm / hour
Test specimen Electrode films, optional single crystals / grains Diameter ≤ 10 mm, thickness ≤ 1 mm
Load on test specimen approx. 1 N
Chemical compatibility Aprotic organic electrolytes; optional aqueous electrolytes
Cell electrolyte volume approx. 0.5 ml
Temperature resistance -20 to +70 °C (Cell and Sensor)
0 to +40 °C (Conditioning electronics and data logger)
Delivery scope
# Component Order no.
1 ECD-3 dilatometer
2 Box ECD-3 ECE1-00-0006-E
3 ECD sensor cable ECE1-00-0036-A
4 ECD-3 cell cable ECE1-00-0033-F
5 Power supply 15W/24V DC ELT9045
6 Power supply adapter ELT9078
7 USB cable typ A/B (2.0 m) ELT9167
Accessories kit:
8 O-Ring 33.05 mm x 1.78 mm (2 pcs.) DIC9034
9 PE-Seal for ECD (33.3 x 1.6),(2 pcs.) ECC1-01-0043-B
10 Ferrule 1.0 (2 pcs.) ECC1-00-0029-B
11 Ferrule 1.5 (2 pcs.) ECC1-00-0029-C
12 O-Ring 50.5 mm x 1.78 mm (2 pcs.) DIC9038
13 Membrane (aprotic) 1.4404 ECC1-00-0019-D
14 Spacer disc (set) 2.1 - 2.3 ECC1-01-0012-F
15 Demonstration kit (5 x activated carbon electrode foil with 5% PTFE Binder, 10 mm) ECD1-00-0900-A
16 Filling tube with syringe ECD3-01-0001-A
17 CD containing EC-Link data logger software ECE1-00-0052-A
18 Tweezers WZG9001
19 Spherical allen screw driver 3 mm WZG9002
20 Allen screw driver 2.5 mm WZG9003
21 Set allen wrench ECC1-01-0028-A
Separator (GF/A) 12 x 0.26 mm, (10 pcs) ECC1-01-0012-Q/X


Upgrade Kits

In the standard configuration, the ECD-3 is equipped for aprotic electrochemistry (dilatometer cell, sensor and sensor-controller with dc-voltage output -10 to 10 V) with integrated USB data logger. Materials in media contact are stainless steel and PEEK. The user has to provide all peripheral equipment like temperature chamber and potentiostat.

Various add-ons are available for special testing requirements:

Upgrade Kit Aqueous: replaces stainless steel parts by gold parts and thus makes the ECD-3 compatible with aqueous electrochemistry.

ECD-3 Full Cell Kit: Part kit for testing full cells without T-frit.

Part Kit for Testing Single Crystals/Grains: Part kit for using single grains or crystals instead of bound electrode films.

Cell Body: Cell Body: Cell Body:
T-Frit 10/12.5 Glass window (5 pieces) ECC1-00-0041-B
Membrane (aprotic) 1.4404 Membrane (aprotic) 1.4404 ECC1-00-0019-D
O-Ring 33.05 x 1.78 mm O-Ring 33.05 x 1.78 mm DIC9034
O-Ring 50.5 x 1.78 mm O-Ring 50.5 x 1.78 mm DIC9038
Ferrule 1.0 Ferrule 1.0 ECC1-00-0029-B
Ferrule 1.5 Ferrule 1.5 ECC1-00-0029-C
PE-Seal for ECD (33 x 1.6) PE-Seal for ECD (33 x 1.6) ECC1-01-0043-B
PE-seal for ECD-3 piston PE-seal for ECD-3 piston ECC1-01-0044-B
Spacer disc (set) 2.1-2.3 Spacer disc (set) 2.1-2.3 ECC1-01-0012-F
Spacer disc (set) 1.8-2.0 Spacer disc (set) 1.8-2.0 ECC1-01-0012-G
Spacer disc (set) 1.5-1.7 Spacer disc (set) 1.5-1.7 ECC1-01-0012-H
Spacer disc (set) 1.2-1.4 Spacer disc (set) 1.2-1.4 ECC1-01-0012-K
Spacer disc (set) 0.9-1.1 Spacer disc (set) 0.9-1.1 ECC1-01-0012-L
Separator (GF/A) 12 x 0.26 mm, (10 pcs) ECC1-01-0012-Q/X
Sensor Unit: Sensor Unit: Sensor Unit:
Socket screw Socket screw DIN-912 M4 x 12
Spare parts

Sensor unit

Cell Body

Shut-off valve

Central CE piston

Spring load

REF electrode ECD, long

Frequently asked questions
What are the differences between the built-in sensors of the ECD-3 and ECD-3-nano?

The sensors of ECD-3 and ECD-3-nano are both able to detect very small expansions of the electrodes. The main difference between the two devices lies in the detection resolution. The ECD-3 uses an LVDT sensor with a resolution of 50 nanometers with a maximum displacement range of 500 μm. The ECD-3-nano uses a capacitive sensor system with a resolution of 5 nanometers and a maximum displacement range of 250 μm.

Why is it possible to measure displacement values below zero?

The dilatometer does only measure the displacement (=change in thickness), but not the total thickness. The initial displacement reading is arbitrary and can be changed by just turning the micrometer screw at the sensor head. In practice, you turn the micrometer screw so that the initial reading is in the range of zero +/- 20 µm. After the measurement, for convenience, you substract some offset value, so as to set the displacement value exactly to zero at that point in time, where you have started the electrochemical cycle.


Sample test results

Expanding and shrinking of a graphite electrode during lithium insertion and extraction (figure left). The detailed view on the right shows the onset of expansion at 1.9V vs. Li / Li+ (figure right).Expanding and shrinking of a graphite electrode during lithium insertion and extraction (figure left). The detailed view on the right shows the onset of expansion at 1.9V vs. Li / Li+ (figure right).
Current response and height change of layered ruthenium oxide HRO in 2 M H2SO4 during slow scan voltammetry. Courtesy of Prof. Wataru Sugimoto, Shinshu University, Japan.Current response and height change of layered ruthenium oxide HRO in 2 M H2SO4 during slow scan voltammetry. Courtesy of Prof. Wataru Sugimoto, Shinshu University, Japan.


Assembly of the ECD-3-nano electrochemical dilatometer

In this video, you will learn how to assemble an ECD-3 electrochemical dilatometer inside the glove box, how to connect it and finally how to adjust the sensor for testing.

Resolution Date Type Size
1920x1080px 09/2016 wmv 745 MB Download
1280x720px 09/2016 wmv 460 MB Download

Watch and download more of our videos on our video page.

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