Real-time imaging of surface chemical reactions by electrochemical photothermal reflectance microscopy

Published on Feb 11, 2021in Chemical Science9.825
路 DOI :10.1039/D0SC05132B
Cheng Zong19
Estimated H-index: 19
(BU: Boston University),
Chi Zhang22
Estimated H-index: 22
(BU: Boston University)
+ 5 AuthorsJi-Xin Cheng84
Estimated H-index: 84
(BU: Boston University)
Traditional electrochemical measurements based on either current or potential responses only present the average contribution of an entire electrode's surface. Here, we present an electrochemical photothermal reflectance microscope (EPRM) in which a potential-dependent nonlinear photothermal signal is exploited to map an electrochemical process with sub-micron spatial resolution. By using EPRM, we are able to monitor the photothermal signal of a Pt electrode during the electrochemical reaction at an imaging speed of 0.3 s per frame. The potential-dependent photothermal signal, which is sensitive to the free electron density, clearly revealed the evolution of surface species on the Pt surface. Our results agreed well with the reported spectroelectrochemical techniques under similar conditions but with a much faster imaging speed. We further mapped the potential oscillation during the oxidation of formic acid on the Pt surface. The photothermal images from the Pt electrode well matched the potential change. This technique opens new prospects for real-time imaging of surface chemical reaction to reveal the heterogeneity of electrochemical reactivity, which enables broad applications to the study of catalysis, energy storage, and light harvest systems.
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