Direct Electrochemical Measurements Inside a 2000 Angstrom Thick Polymer Film by Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Jul 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5068, pp. 364-366
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5068.364


An extremely small, conically shaped Pt microelectrode tip (with a radius of 30 nanometers) and the precise positioning capabilities of the scanning electrochemical microscope were used to penetrate a thin (200 nanometers) polymer film and obtain directly the standard potential and kinetic parameters of an electrode reaction within the film. The thickness of the film was determined while it was immersed in and swollen by an electrolyte solution. The film studied was the perfluorosulfonate Nafion containing Os(bpy)32+ (bpy, 2,2'-bipyridine) cast on an indium tin oxide surface. The steady-state response at the ultramicroelectrode allowed direct determination of the rate constant for heterogeneous electron transfer Ko and the diffusion coefficient D without complications caused by transport in the liquid phase, charge exchange at the liquid-polymer interface, and resistive drop.