Potentiostats are feedback amplifiers which control an electrode to a certain potential with respect to a reference electrode. They may control microelectrodes in animal or herbal cells, and the current is measured in picoamperes, or large-area electrodes in batteries or production cells.

Potentiostats are widely used in research: materials science, corrosion research and active corrosion control require potentiostats. In analytical chemistry, methods like cyclic voltammetry have equal rights as chromatography and spectroscopy. The core of analysing instruments like gas detectors, blood sugar meters and many others is a potentiostat.