Advantages of the intermittent contact SECM : two examples in corrosion – Scanning Probes – Application Note 6Latest updated: May 6, 2020
M470 is the only commercial SECM to offer the intermittent contact capability, which is a technique that allows one to track the topography of the sample during an SECM or ac-SECM measurement. Any contribution of the topography to the electrochemical response measured at the probe tip is removed, in the same manner as a constant distance measurement. Contrarily to the method shown in SCAN-Lab AN#2 and #3 (hyperlinks), only one single scan is required to get both topographical and electrochemical information.
It is highly recommended to read the tutorial and publications about ic-SECM1-4 in order to get the most benefit from this application note. Nonetheless a brief explanation of the technique will be given below. ic-SECM is similar to AFM in tapping mode in that the probe is actually contacting the surface in a discontinuous way. ic-SECM is similar with shear force SECM in that a mechanical method is used to record and track the topography of the surface. The fact that it is mechanical (and not electrochemical, such as in constant current SECM) ensures that any electrochemical response variation will not affect the topography measurement and vice versa.
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