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Issue 48, 2019

High-throughput sequential excitation for nanoscale mapping of electrochemical strain in granular ceria

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Abstract

Dynamic strain based atomic force microscopy (AFM) modes often fail at the interfaces where the most interesting physics occurs because of their incapability of tracking contact resonance accurately under rough topography. To overcome this difficulty, we develop a high-throughput sequential excitation AFM that captures contact dynamics of probe–sample interactions with high fidelity and efficiency, acquiring the spectrum of data on each pixel over a range of frequencies that are excited in a sequential manner. Using electrochemically active granular ceria as an example, we map both linear and quadratic electrochemical strain accurately across grain boundaries with high spatial resolution where the conventional approach fails. The enhanced electrochemical responses point to the accumulation of small polarons in the space charge region at the grain boundaries, thought to be responsible for the enhanced electronic conductivity in nanocrystalline ceria. The spectrum of data can be processed very efficiently by physics-informed principal component analysis (PCA), speeding data processing by several orders of magnitude. This approach can be applied to a variety of AFM modes for studying a wide range of materials and structures on the nanoscale.

Graphical abstract: High-throughput sequential excitation for nanoscale mapping of electrochemical strain in granular ceria

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
28 Aug 2019
Accepted
20 Nov 2019
First published
21 Nov 2019

Nanoscale, 2019,11, 23188-23196
Article type
Paper
Author version available

High-throughput sequential excitation for nanoscale mapping of electrochemical strain in granular ceria

B. Huang, E. N. Esfahani, J. Yu, B. S. Gerwe, S. B. Adler and J. Li, Nanoscale, 2019, 11, 23188 DOI: 10.1039/C9NR07438D

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