Feedback-independent Pt nanoelectrodes for shear force-based constant-distance mode scanning electrochemical microscopy

by Etienne, Mathieu; Anderson, Emily Clary; Evans, Stephanie R.; Schuhmann, Wolfgang; Fritsch, Ingrid


A new generation of platinum nanoelectrodes for constant-distance mode scanning electrochemical microscopy (CD-SECM) has been prepared, characterized, and used for high spatial resolution electrochemical measurements and visualization of electrochemically induced concentration gradients in microcavities. The probes have long (1-2 cm), narrow quartz tips that were conically polished and have a Pt nanoelectrode that is slightly offset from center. Because of the size and location of the electrode on the probe, it does not exhibit SECM feedback while approaching the analyzed sample surfaces even to distances within a few hundred nanometers. The probe was positioned near the surface while scanning and performing electrochemical measurements through use of nonoptical shear force control of the tip-to-sample distance. Test structures consisted of cylindrically shaped microcavities that are 50 Am in diameter with three individually addressable electrodes: a gold disk at 8-mu m depth, a crescent-shaped gold ring at 4-mu m depth along the wall, and a top gold electrode at the rim. Different electrodes within the microcavity were used to reduce and oxidize redox species in 250 mu L of a solution of 5 mM hexaamineruthenium(III) chloride and 0.1 M potassium chloride, protected from evaporation by mineral oil, while the SECM tip followed the topography of the structures and monitored the current from the oxidation of [Ru(NH3)(6)](2+). Electrochemically generated concentration profiles were obtained from these complex test structures that are not possible with any other SECM technology at this time.

Analytical Chemistry
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