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In Situ Real-Time Monitoring of ITO Film under a Chemical Etching Process Using Fourier Transform Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 15.06.2020, 14:37 by Seok Hee Han, Jihun Rho, Sunmi Lee, Moonjoo Kim, Sung Il Kim, Sangmee Park, Woohyuk Jang, Chang Heon Lee, Byoung-Yong Chang, Taek Dong Chung
As a novel approach to the in situ real-time investigation of an ITO electrode during the wet etching process, step-excitation Fourier-transform electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (FT-EIS) was implemented. The equivalent circuit parameters (e.g., Rct, Cdl) continuously obtained by the FT-EIS measurements during the entire etching process showed an electrode activation at the initial period as well as the completion of etching. The FT-EIS results were further validated by cyclic voltammograms and impedance measurements of partially etched ITO films using ferri- and ferrocyanide solution in combination with FESEM imaging, EDS, XRD analyses, and COMSOL simulation. We also demonstrated that this technique can be further utilized to obtain intact interdigitated array (IDA) electrodes in a reproducible manner, which is generally considered to be quite tricky due to delicacy of the pattern. Given that the FT-EIS allows for instantaneous snapshots of the electrode at every moment, this work may hold promise for in situ real-time examination of structural, electrokinetic, or mass transfer-related information on electrochemical systems undergoing constantly changing, transient processes including etching, which would be impossible with conventional electroanalytical techniques.