Scanning Bipolar Electrochemical Microscopy

Electrochemical techniques offer high temporal resolution for studying the dynamics of electroactive species at samples of interest. To monitor fastest concentration changes, a micro- or nanoelectrode is accurately positioned in the vicinity of a sample surface. Using a microelectrode array, it is even possible to investigate several sites simultaneously and to obtain an instantaneous image of local dynamics. However, the spatial resolution is limited by the minimal electrode size required in order to contact the electrodes. To provide a remedy, we introduce the concept of scanning bipolar electrochemical microscopy and the corresponding experimental system. This technique allows precise positioning of a wireless scanning bipolar electrode to convert spatially heterogeneous concentrations of the analyte of interest into an electrochemiluminescence map of the sample reactivity. After elucidating the working principle by recording bipolar line and array scans, a bipolar electrode array is positioned at the site of interest to record an electrochemical image of the localized release of analyte molecules.