Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Kolmakov, Andrei

Abstract

Here we report on a development of a device for in situ observation and spectroscopic study of the solid-liquid electrolyte interfacial processes taking place in electrochemical cell using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), as well as optical microscopy. The major components of the device are a 50 nm Si3N4 membrane used for mounting the nanowire working electrodes and imaging their surfaces, a modified chip carrier for mounting the membrane and containing the liquid electrolyte and a glass lid for sealing the entire package. For preliminary testing we used individual SnO2 nanowires as working electrodes and a 10-3 M aqueous solution of AgNO3 as a model electrolyte. Vacuum tests were performed to ensure that the package is compatible with the high vacuum environment of the SEM. Finally, cyclic voltammograms were carried out and the growth of dendrimeric silver structures is observed as they form on the surface of the nanowires, which can be confirmed using Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)

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