Dynamically imaging collision electrochemistry of single electrochemiluminescence nano-emitters†
The quest for new techniques to measure single nanomaterials is a great impetus to research efforts to understand individual behaviours. Here, we develop an electrochemiluminescence (ECL) microscopy for visualization of stochastic collision electrochemistry of single nano-emitters without the interference of current and optical background. This design uses a water-immersion objective to capture the ECL emission of nanoparticles near the specular electrode surface for enhancing light collection efficiency. The approach enables us to trace the collision trajectory of multiple nanoparticles and spatially distinguish simultaneous collisions. Results reveal that collision types, frequencies and ECL intensities significantly depend on surface natures, particle concentrations, and diffusion fluxes. By recording successive collisions, we develop a “relay probe” sensing platform for long-term research. This imaging technique displays great potential for applications in single-particle electrochemical and analytical research.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2018 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection