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Issue 8, 2011
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Probing the structure of a water/nitrobenzene interface by scanning ion conductance microscopy

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Abstract

A new experimental approach to probe the structure of a water/nitrobenzene (W/NB) interface by scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) is presented. A nanopipette filled with aqueous solution serves as a SICM tip. The tip current is produced by the transfer of chloride (Cl) and tetraphenylarsonium (TPAs+) ions between the aqueous solution inside the pipette and outer organic solution. The tip current increases instantaneously as a sign of touching the interface when such a tip approaches the W/NB interface. The continuous change of tip current suggests ion penetrations into the interfacial region which is less than 1 nm, in accordance with the mixed solvent model. Ion distribution information can also be extracted from the current–distance (approach) curves obtained from solutions with a series of electrolyte concentrations. The experimental results show that the SICM approach curves are sensitive to the thickness of diffuse layers. This type of technique is actually a modified version of SICM, and is similar to the operation of ion transfer mode of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) with a SICM instrumentation.

Graphical abstract: Probing the structure of a water/nitrobenzene interface by scanning ion conductance microscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Mar 2011, accepted on 31 May 2011 and first published on 16 Jun 2011


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1SC00133G
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2011,2, 1523-1529
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    Probing the structure of a water/nitrobenzene interface by scanning ion conductance microscopy

    T. Ji, Z. Liang, X. Zhu, L. Wang, S. Liu and Y. Shao, Chem. Sci., 2011, 2, 1523
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SC00133G

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