Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) can not only provide very high sensitivity but also high spatial resolution, and has found applications in various fields, including surface science, materials, and biology. Most of previous TERS studies were performed in air or in the ultrahigh vacuum. If TERS study can be performed in the electrochemical environment, the electronic properties of the surface can be well controlled so that the interaction of the molecules with the substrate and the configuration of the molecules on the surface can also be well controlled.
However, the EC-TERS is not just a simple combination of electrochemistry with TERS, or the combination of EC-STM with Raman. It is a merge of STM, electrochemistry and Raman spectroscopy, and the mutual interference among these techniques makes the EC-TERS particularly challenge: the light distortion in EC system, the sensitivity, the tip coating to work under EC-STM and retain the TERS activity and cleanliness.
We designed a special spectroelectrochemical cell to eliminate the distortion of the liquid layer to the optical path and obtain TER spectra of reasonably good signal to noise ratio for surface adsorbed molecules under electrochemical potential control. For example, potential dependent TERS signal have been obtained for adsorbed aromatic thiol molecule, and much obvious signal change compared with SERS has been found, manifesting the importance of EC-TERS to reveal the interfacial structure of an electrochemical system.
We further extended EC-TERS to electrochemical redox system, and clear dependence of the species during redox reaction can be identified.
Zhicong Zeng, Shengchao Huang, Tengxiang Huang, Maohua Li, and Bin Ren, "Electrochemical tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9554, Nanoimaging and Nanospectroscopy III, 95540V (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 11, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2190077.4519371115001.
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