ETEM Studies of Electrodes and Electro-catalysts

Christian Jooss, Stephanie Mildner, Marco Beleggia, Daniel Mierwaldt, Vladimir Roddatis

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    Environmental TEM is an excellent tool for gaining insight into the atomic and electronic structure of electro-catalysts under operating conditions. Several electrochemical reactions such as oxidation/reduction processes of electrodes, heterogeneous gas phase catalysis of water splitting/oxygen evolution and electrochemical corrosion processes of materials have been studied in some pioneering experiments which will be summarized in this chapter. These experiments often reveal a strong change of the electrode due to the adsorption of gas species from the environment as well as due to the impact of the electron beam. We show that inelastic scattering of the high-energy electrons can induce electric potentials in the studied samples influencing the observed state of the catalyst. After an introduction to electrochemistry and ETEM investigations, we address, experimentally and theoretically, beam-induced potentials, their dependence on several parameters such as electron flux, electric conductivity, and geometry of samples, aiming at learning how to disentangle them from radiation damage. Our second focus is to control the electric potential distribution within and around samples by dedicated electrical TEM sample holders. To illustrate how this can be achieved, we present the results of a bias-controlled electro-corrosion experiment. We will discuss some of the main experimental and theoretical challenges for the development of controlled electrochemistry studies in transmission electron microscopes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationControlled Atmosphere Transmission Electron Microscopy : Principles and Practice
    EditorsThomas Willum Hansen, Jakob Birkedal Wagner
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-22987-4
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-22988-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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