New Tools for Studying Nanoscale Electrochemical Phenomena
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This dissertation focuses primarily on the fabrication of micro and nanoscale electrochemical structures such as electrodes, electrode arrays, and nanopores. It also discusses the use of these tools in studying nanoscale electrochemical processes such as geometric considerations in redox molecule diffusion to nanoscale electrodes, confined diffusion within electrode arrays, nanoparticle transport, and emulsion droplet transport and agglomeration. There is an introduction to electrochemistry followed by considerations to make when studying electron transfer at the nanoscale using voltammetric and amperometric measurements. Chapter 2 discusses three types of new nanoelectrodes that have been developed. These nanoelectrodes are different from previous nanoelectrodes in their materials and fabrication methods. Chapter 3 introduces the reader to electrode arrays and their properties. A new way of fabricating microelectrode arrays with high density and a nearly 100% success rate in terms of electrode activity is presented. In Chapter 4 a new electrochemical imaging technique developed in our lab is introduced. This new technique requires bipolar electrode arrays, new variants of which are fabricated using several methods which are discussed. Chapter 5 moves away from Faradaic current measurements toward ionic current measurements of nanoparticles. Emulsified oil droplets are monitored with ionic current measurements and fluorescence imaging to reveal their interactions at a nanopore. In Chapter 6 a new method for fabricating nanopores is outlined along with substantial experiments and finite element simulations to describe their properties. The ability of this new nanopore to measure nanoparticles is illustrated through resistive-pulse sensing. These new nanopores are compared with another type of nanopore using both experiment and simulation.
- Chemistry