Atomic resolution imaging of electrode surfaces in solutions containing reversible redox species

Michael J. Heben, Reginald M. Penner, Nathan S. Lewis, Moris M. Dovek, Calvin F. Quate

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Procedures are described for insulating metal scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tips with either glass or polymer coatings. In solutions containing 0.10 M of a reversible redox couple, Fe(CN)-3/-46, the faradaic limiting current to polymer coated tips was 200-500 pA and that for glass coated tips was <10 pA. For polymer insulated tips, steady-state currents of 10-100 pA were observed at tip-sample displacements less than 0.3 μm. The suppression of faradaic current achieved by these coating procedures enabled the collection of the first atomic resolution STM images of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite electrodes in contact with redox-active electrolytes. Preliminary data for the in situ electrochemical characterization of these tips are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421-1423
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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