Two-Dimensional Imaging of Potential Waves in Electrochemical Systems by Surface Plasmon Microscopy

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Science  04 Aug 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5224, pp. 668-671
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5224.668


The potential dependence of resonance conditions for the excitation of surface plasmons was exploited to obtain two-dimensional images of the potential distribution of an electrode with high temporal resolution. This method allows the study of spatiotemporal patterns in electrochemical systems. Potential waves traveling across the electrode with a speed on the order of meters per second were observed in the bistable regime of an oscillatory electrochemical reaction. This velocity is close to that of excitation waves in nerve fibers and is far greater than the velocity of reaction-diffusion waves observed in other chemical systems.