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A versatile electrochemical cell for hanging meniscus or flow cell measurement of planar model electrodes characterized with scanning tunneling microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

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We demonstrate the development of a portable electrochemistry (EC) cell setup that can be applied to measure relevant electrochemical signals on planar samples in conjunction with pre- and post-characterization by surface science methods, such as scanning tunneling microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The EC cell setup, including the transfer and EC cell compartments, possesses the advantage of a small size and can be integrated with standard ultra-high vacuum (UHV) systems or synchrotron end-stations by replacing the flange adaptor, sample housing, and transfer arm. It allows a direct transfer of the pre-characterized planar sample from the UHV environment to the EC cell to conduct in situ electrochemical measurements without exposing to ambient air. The EC cell setup can operate in both the hanging meniscus and flow cell mode. As a proof of concept, using a Au(111) single crystal electrode, we demonstrate the application of the EC cell setup in both modes and report on the post-EC structure and chemical surface composition as provided by scanning tunneling microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. To exemplify the advantage of an in situ EC cell, the EC cell performance is further compared to a corresponding experiment on a Au(111) sample measured by transfer at ambient conditions. The EC cell demonstrated here enables a wealth of future electrocatalysis measurements that combine surface science model catalyst approaches to facilitate the understanding of nano- and atomic-scale structures of electrocatalytic interfaces, the crucial role of catalyst stability, and the nature of low-concentration and atomically dispersed metal (single atom) dopants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094101
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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