Publications by authors named "Barak D Aaronson"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cellulose ionics: switching ionic diode responses by surface charge in reconstituted cellulose films.

Analyst 2017 Sep;142(19):3707-3714

Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.

Cellulose films as well as chitosan-modified cellulose films of approximately 5 μm thickness, reconstituted from ionic liquid media onto a poly(ethylene-terephthalate) (PET, 6 μm thickness) film with a 5, 10, 20, or 40 μm diameter laser-drilled microhole, show significant current rectification in aqueous NaCl. Reconstituted α-cellulose films provide "cationic diodes" (due to predominant cation conductivity) whereas chitosan-doped cellulose shows "anionic diode" effects (due to predominant anion conductivity). The current rectification, or "ionic diode" behaviour, is investigated as a function of NaCl concentration, pH, microhole diameter, and molecular weight of the chitosan dopant. Future applications are envisaged exploiting the surface charge induced switching of diode currents for signal amplification in sensing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7an00918fDOI Listing
September 2017

A Cationic Diode Based on Asymmetric Nafion Film Deposits.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2017 Mar 16;9(12):11272-11278. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Department of Chemistry, University of Bath , Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, U.K.

A thin film of Nafion, of approximately 5 μm thickness, asymmetrically deposited onto a 6 μm thick film of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) fabricated with a 5, 10, 20, or 40 μm microhole, is shown to exhibit prominent ionic diode behavior involving cation charge carrier ("cationic diode"). The phenomenon is characterized via voltammetric, chronoamperometric, and impedance methods. Phenomenologically, current rectification effects are comparable to those observed in nanocone devices where space-charge layer effects dominate. However, for microhole diodes a resistive, a limiting, and an overlimiting potential domain can be identified and concentration polarization in solution is shown to dominate in the closed state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b01774DOI Listing
March 2017

Electrodeposition and Screening of Photoelectrochemical Activity in Conjugated Polymers Using Scanning Electrochemical Cell Microscopy.

Langmuir 2015 Nov 10;31(46):12814-22. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick , Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.

A number of renewable energy systems require an understanding and correlation of material properties and photoelectrochemical activity on the micro to nanoscale. Among these, conducting polymer electrodes continue to be important materials. In this contribution, an ultrasensitive scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) platform is used to electrodeposit microscale thin films of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) on an optically transparent gold electrode and to correlate the morphology (film thickness and structural order) with photoactivity. The electrochemical growth of P3HT begins with a thin ordered film up to 10 nm thick, after which a second more disordered film is deposited, as revealed by micro-Raman spectroscopy. A decrease in photoactivity for the thicker films, measured in situ immediately following film deposition, is attributed to an increase in bulk film disorder that limits charge transport. Higher resolution ex situ SECCM phototransient measurements, using a smaller diameter probe, show local variations in photoactivity within a given deposit. Even after aging, thinner, more ordered regions within a deposit exhibit sustained enhanced photocurrent densities compared to areas where the film is thicker and more disordered. The platform opens up new possibilities for high-throughput combinatorial correlation studies, by allowing materials fabrication and high spatial resolution probing of processes in photoelectrochemical materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b03316DOI Listing
November 2015

Scanning electrochemical cell microscopy platform for ultrasensitive photoelectrochemical imaging.

Anal Chem 2015 Apr 6;87(8):4129-33. Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Rd, Coventry, CV4 7AL United Kingdom.

The development of techniques for nanoscale structure-activity correlations is of major importance for the fundamental understanding and rational design of (photo)electrocatalysts. However, the low conversion efficiency of characteristic materials generates tiny photoelectrochemical currents at the submicrometer to nanoscale, in the fA range, which are challenging to detect and measure accurately. Here, we report the coupling of scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) with photoillumination, to create a submicrometer spatial resolution cell that opens up high resolution structure-(photo)activity measurements. We demonstrate the capabilities of the technique as a tool for: (i) high spatial resolution (photo)activity mapping using an ionic liquid electrolyte at a thin film of TiO2 aggregates, commonly used as a photoanode in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and (ii) in situ (photo)activity measurements of an electropolymerized conjugated polymer on a transparent Au substrate in a controlled atmospheric environment. Quantitative data, including localized (photo)electrochemical transients and external quantum efficiency (EQE), are extracted, and prospects for further technique development and enhancement are outlined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.5b00288DOI Listing
April 2015

Spatially resolved electrochemistry in ionic liquids: surface structure effects on triiodide reduction at platinum electrodes.

Langmuir 2014 Feb 12;30(7):1915-9. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick , Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.

Understanding the relationship between electrochemical activity and electrode structure is vital for improving the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. Here, the reduction of triiodide to iodide in 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([BMIm][BF4]) room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) is investigated on polycrystalline platinum using scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) and correlated to the crystallographic orientation from electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). Although the rate determining step in all grains was the first electron transfer, significant grain-dependent variations in activity were revealed, with grains with a dominant (110) crystallographic character exhibiting higher catalytic activity compared to those with a major (100) orientation. The SECCM technique is demonstrated to resolve heterogeneity in activity, highlighting that methods incorporating polycrystalline electrodes miss vital details for understanding and optimizing electrocatalysts. An additional advantage of the SECCM over single-crystal techniques is its ability to probe high index facets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la500271fDOI Listing
February 2014

Pseudo-single-crystal electrochemistry on polycrystalline electrodes: visualizing activity at grains and grain boundaries on platinum for the Fe2+/Fe3+ redox reaction.

J Am Chem Soc 2013 Mar 26;135(10):3873-80. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

The influence of electrode surface structure on electrochemical reaction rates and mechanisms is a major theme in electrochemical research, especially as electrodes with inherent structural heterogeneities are used ubiquitously. Yet, probing local electrochemistry and surface structure at complex surfaces is challenging. In this paper, high spatial resolution scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM) complemented with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is demonstrated as a means of performing 'pseudo-single-crystal' electrochemical measurements at individual grains of a polycrystalline platinum electrode, while also allowing grain boundaries to be probed. Using the Fe(2+/3+) couple as an illustrative case, a strong correlation is found between local surface structure and electrochemical activity. Variations in electrochemical activity for individual high index grains, visualized in a weakly adsorbing perchlorate medium, show that there is higher activity on grains with a significant (101) orientation contribution, compared to those with (001) and (111) contribution, consistent with findings on single-crystal electrodes. Interestingly, for Fe(2+) oxidation in a sulfate medium a different pattern of activity emerges. Here, SECCM reveals only minor variations in activity between individual grains, again consistent with single-crystal studies, with a greatly enhanced activity at grain boundaries. This suggests that these sites may contribute significantly to the overall electrochemical behavior measured on the macroscale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja310632kDOI Listing
March 2013
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