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Atomic Force Microscopy for Solar Fuels Research: An Introductory Review

Huang, Zhuangqun and Jiang, Jingjing and Hua, Yueming and Li, Chunzeng and Wagner, Martin and Lewerenz, Hans Joachim and Soriaga, Manuel P. and Anfuso, Chantelle (2015) Atomic Force Microscopy for Solar Fuels Research: An Introductory Review. Energy and Environment Focus, 4 (4). pp. 260-277. ISSN 2326-3040. doi:10.1166/eef.2015.1180.

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Although research on solar fuel production via water oxidation, hydrogen evolution, and carbon dioxide reduction (i.e., artificial photosynthesis) has grown tremendously in recent years, practical solar fuel devices remain elusive. For these multi-electron transfer processes to take place efficiently, integrated systems constructed from materials with very different chemical, mechanical, and electrical properties are required. This complicated integration presents numerous challenges, including the need for increased characterization of material surfaces and interfaces for both fundamental studies and device optimization. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful tool for surface and interface analysis. Although solar fuel research has frequently utilized the basic AFM function of topographic mapping for routine surface analysis, some researchers have avoided more advanced AFM methodologies due to the complexity of these integrated solar fuel generating systems. This article provides researchers in this area with an introduction to various advanced AFM techniques for mechanical, electrical, and chemical analysis on the nanoscale. It also discusses the possibility of in situ study while providing an outline of the working principles of different AFM application modes.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Lewerenz, Hans Joachim0000-0001-8433-9471
Soriaga, Manuel P.0000-0002-0077-6226
Additional Information:© 2015 American Scientific Publishers. Received: 2 March 2015; Accepted: 3 April 2015. Zhuangqun Huang and Jingjing Jiang acknowledge support from the Beckman Institute of the California Institute of Technology to the Molecular Materials Research Center. JJ, HJL and MPS acknowledge the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, supported through the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under Award No. DE-SC0004993. ZH acknowledges the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21376020) and Sanyuan Ceramics Limited (Group of Company) Chaozhou, China, in particular the support from Dr. Zaiyuan Huang and Dr. Xiaodong Huang.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Beckman InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0004993
National Natural Science Foundation of China21376020
Sanyuan Ceramics LimitedUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:AFM, Solar Fuel, Nano Electricity, Nano Mechanics, S-SNOM, In Situ Characterization
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151209-134832901
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62753
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Dec 2015 21:58
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:06

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