Journal article

Soft Stylus Probes for Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy

A soft stylus microelectrode probe has been developed to carry out scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) of rough, tilted, and large substrates in contact mode. It is fabricated by first ablating a microchannel in a polyethylene terephthalate thin film and filling it with a conductive carbon ink. After curing the carbon track and lamination with a polymer film, the V- shaped stylus was cut thereby forming a probe, with the cross section of the carbon track at the tip being exposed either by UVphotoablation machining or by blade cutting followed by polishing to produce a crescent moon- shaped carbon microelectrode. The probe properties have been assessed by cyclic voltammetry, approach curves, and line scans over electrochemically active and inactive substrates of different roughness. The influence of probe bending on contact mode imaging was then characterized using simple patterns. Boundary element method simulations were employed to rationalize the distance-dependent electrochemical response of the soft stylus probes.

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