Analytical Chemistry

The new era of high throughput nanoelectrochemistry



Scanning electrochemical probe microscopies (SEPMs) have played a key role in advancing small-scale electrochemistry. SEPMs use an electrochemical probe (micro/nanoelectrode or pipet) to quantify and map local interfacial fluxes of electroactive species and have found increasingly wide applications. Our contribution to the Fundamental and Applied Reviews in Analytical Chemistry 2019 discussed how advances in SEPMs converged towards nanoscale electrochemical mapping. This inflection in experimental capability has opened up myriad opportunities for SEPMs in many types of systems, from material and energy sciences to the life sciences. The enhancement in the spatial resolution of imaging techniques, and instrumental developments, have resulted in significant increases in the size of electrochemical datasets from a typical experiment and served to speed up measurement throughput. Next generation nanoelectrochemistry will thus see an emphasis on “big data”, its analysis, storage and curation, high throughput analysis and parallelization, “intelligent” instruments and experiments, active control of nanoscale systems, and the integration of nanoelectrochemistry and nanoscale micro(spectro)scopy. For this review article, we focus on recent advances in frontier nanoscale electrochemistry, analysis and imaging techniques that are already addressing some of these key targets, and are well-placed to embrace other aspects in the near future. Our goal is to provide an overview of the present state-of-the-art in high throughput nanoelectrochemistry and imaging, and signpost promising new avenues for nanoscale electrochemical methods.

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