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Dynamic Perturbation of the Electrical Double Layer with an Electrochemical AFM for Confined Metal Electrodeposition
preprintsubmitted on 09.06.2019, 10:17 and posted on 11.06.2019, 12:59 by Esther Alarcon, mark aarts
We demonstrate the directed electrochemical deposition of copper nanostructures by using an oscillating nanoelectrode operated with an atomic force microscope (AFM). Strikingly, the writing is only possible in highly dilute electrolytes and for a particular combination of AFM and electrochemical parameters. We propose a mechanism based on cyclic charging and discharging of the electrical double layer (EDL). The extended screening length and slower charge dynamics in dilute electrolytes allows the nanoelectrode to operate inside, and disturb, the EDL even for large oscillation amplitudes (~100 nm). Our unique approach can not only be used for controlled additive nano-fabrication but also provides insights into ion behavior and EDL dynamics at the solid-liquid interface.