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Press ReleasePress Release 2012

Atom Resolved Imaging of an Electrochemical Reaction

-Revealing the physical and chemical phenomena which are indispensable for developing highly efficient ionic devices-

30 Apr, 2012

The research group of MANA, NIMS, Japan and the German research groups at the Research Center Juelich, RWTH Aachen, and Bonn University have succeeded in the first observation of an electrochemical reaction in which charge transfer and Redox reaction of metal cations occur. The observation of the electrochemical reaction with atomic resolution is expected to contribute to the understanding of the phenomena and improvements in the performance of ionic devices, such as sensors, fuel cells and catalysts.

fig. 1

Fig. 1 Solid electrochemical reaction process. (a) Schematic illustration of the process. The process is categorized into five regions. 1) STM observation using a bias which does not cause the solid electrochemical reaction. 2) Electron injection into the ionic material by changing the bias polarity. 3) Precipitation of atoms starts after a certain time. 4) Precipitated atoms form a bridge connected to the counter electrode. 5) The bridge thickens due to the further precipitation of atoms. (b) Experimental result. Change in the applied bias (green) and the measured current (black). The number of precipitated atoms can be estimated from the change in the current.

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Ilia Valov1, Ina Sapezanskaia2, Alpana Nayak3, Tohru Tsuruoka3, Thomas Bredow4, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa3, Georgi Staikov1, Masakazu Aono3, Rainer Waser1, 2

  1. Research Center Juelich
  2. IWE2 & JARA-FIT, RWTH Aachen
  3. International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
  4. Institute of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Bonn

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