Mapping Electrochemical Heterogeneity at Iron Oxide Surfaces: A Local Electrochemical Impedance StudyLatest updated: May 29, 2020
Authors: Marie Lucas and Jean-François Boily
Alternating current scanning electrochemical microscopy (AC-SECM) was used for the first time to map key electrochemical attributes of oriented hematite (α-Fe2O3) single crystal surfaces at the micron-scale. Localized electrochemical impedance spectra (LEIS) of the (001) and (012) faces provided insight into the spatial variations of local double layer capacitance (Cdl) and charge transfer resistance (Rad). These parameters were extracted by LEIS measurements in the 0.4–8000 Hz range to probe the impedance response generated by the redistribution of water molecules and charge carriers (ions) under an applied AC. These were attributed to local variations in the local conductivity of the sample surfaces. Comparison with global EIS measurements on the same samples uncovered highly comparable frequency-resolved processes, that were broken down into contributions from the bulk hematite, the interface as well as the microelectrode/tip assembly. This work paves the way for new studies aimed at mapping electrochemical processes at the mesoscale on this environmentally and technologically important material.