IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

METAL.es stands for METAL Electrochemical Studies. It is a mobile laboratory for the in-situ study of the characteristics and behaviour of the surface of metallic heritage assets, including natural and artificial patinas and decorative or protective coatings, by means of portable electrochemical techniques. Several conventional or advanced analytical techniques are available in different MOLABs to characterize patinas and coatings, providing information about their physical structure or chemical composition. However, none of them can directly measure the protective properties and corrosion resistance of these patinas and coatings. By means of electrochemical techniques, our system allows to measure the electrochemical behaviour of the metal/patina/coating system, obtaining the corrosion (degradation) rate of the object, the effectiveness of patinas and coatings to arrest further deterioration, and its evolution over time. This information if complementary to that obtained by techniques offered by other MOLABs. The uniqueness of the access offer is based on the gel-polymer electrolyte (G-PE) cell developed by the provider, which allows applying these techniques for in-situ measurements on heritage objects; and the expertise of the group in the study of metallic heritage, assuring the respect for the object and a meaningful interpretation of the data in this specific field. At this moment, no other partner of IPERION or E-RIHS is offering any system capable of providing similar information.

Fields of application

  • Cultural heritage

    architecture, art, decorative arts, musical instrument, sculpture


  • inorganic

    metal and metallurgical By-Products

  • organic

    corrosion inhibitors, organic coatings


Electrochemical system

The electrochemical system is composed of a portable potentiostat/galvanostat/ZRA (Gamry Ref600, including DDS to perform EIS from 10 µHz to 1 MHz, and floating ground, accuracy of ± 1 mV and ± 10 pA) adapted for field operation by means of batteries; a gel polymer electrolyte (G-PE) electrochemical cell, with a 3-electrode configuration and possibility...