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Title: High resolution electrochemical imaging for energy conversion and storage applications
Author: Aaronson, Barak D. B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 0092
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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The work presented herein involves the development of the scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) platform for visualizing electrochemical and (photo)electrochemical activity of processes at electrode surfaces relevant to energy applications. The use of complementary microscopy characterization techniques such as: field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Raman microscopy provides a correlation between the localized (photo)electrochemical activity (obtained by SECCM) and physical properties of the investigated surfaces. SECCM studies of a polycrystalline platinum surface highlight the significant variations in electrochemical activity that can be measured at electrode surfaces due to variations in localized crystallographic orientation and the presence of grain boundaries. An ostensibly simple redox couple (Fe2+/3+) in two different acidic media on a polycrystalline platinum foil is utilized as a model system and the localized crystallographic orientation of the surface is determined by EBSD analysis. The approach is then extended to room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) to study the reduction of triiodide (I3-) to iodide (I-) on polycrystalline platinum for the application of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) as a counter electrode. The coupling of illumination with high sensitivity current followers and external lock-in amplifiers to the SECCM setup is described and the resulting platform is demonstrated to allow investigation of (photo)electrochemical systems. Two examples are provided: imaging photo-anodes in DSSCs and electrodeposition and characterization of conjugated polymers on a transparent electrode for organic photovoltaic devices. Finally, photo-SECCM is used for determining structure-activity relationships for (photo)electrocatalysts of conjugated organic polymers by coupling the technique with AFM and Raman spectroscopy, suggesting the technique as a potential high throughput screening platform. The approach is exemplified by investigating poly(3-hexylthiophene) and provides not only a correlation of film morphology and photo-activity but also extracts important information on film growth and aging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: European Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry