Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 45, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Probing electrode/electrolyte interfaces in situ by X-ray spectroscopies: old methods, new tricks

Author affiliations

Abstract

Electrode/electrolyte interfaces play a vital role in various electrochemical systems, but in situ characterization of such buried interfaces remains a major challenge. Several efforts to develop techniques or to modify existing techniques to study such interfaces are showing great promise to overcome this challenge. Successful examples include electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (EC-STM), surface-sensitive vibrational spectroscopies, environmental transmission electron microscopy (E-TEM), and surface X-ray scattering. Other techniques such as X-ray core-level spectroscopies are element-specific and chemical-state-specific, and are being widely applied in materials science research. Herein we showcase four types of newly developed strategies to probe electrode/electrolyte interfaces in situ with X-ray core-level spectroscopies. These include the standing wave approach, the meniscus approach, and two liquid cell approaches based on X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy. These examples demonstrate that with proper modifications, many ultra-high-vacuum based techniques can be adapted to study buried electrode/electrolyte interfaces and provide interface-sensitive, element- and chemical-state-specific information, such as solute distribution, hydrogen-bonding network, and molecular reorientation. At present, each method has its own specific limitations, but all of them enable in situ and operando characterization of electrode/electrolyte interfaces that can provide important insights into a variety of electrochemical systems.

Graphical abstract: Probing electrode/electrolyte interfaces in situ by X-ray spectroscopies: old methods, new tricks

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jul 2015, accepted on 14 Sep 2015 and first published on 21 Sep 2015


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP04058B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 30229-30239
  •   Request permissions

    Probing electrode/electrolyte interfaces in situ by X-ray spectroscopies: old methods, new tricks

    C. H. Wu, R. S. Weatherup and M. B. Salmeron, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 30229
    DOI: 10.1039/C5CP04058B

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements