Development of a novel combined scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM) and scanning ion-conductance microscope (SICM) probe for soft sample imaging

Andrew J. Pollard, Nilofar Faruqui, Michael Shaw, Charles A. Clifford, Yasufumi Takahashi, Yuri E. Korchev, Neil Ebejer, Julie V. Macpherson, Patrick R. Unwin, Debdulal Roy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    By incorporating a localized heating system within a scanning ion-conductance microscopy (SICM) system, we have performed stable 'hopping-mode' (HPICM) imaging for live cells maintained at temperatures ranging up to human body temperature. This allows the accurate study of cell volume and morphology variation versus temperature over extended periods of time. The integration of SICM with scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) provides the simultaneous mapping of electrochemical and topographic information for soft samples, such as live cells. This combined technique overcomes the limitations of resolution and topographical artifacts typically associated with SECM. However, previously reported SECM-SICM probe production required expensive and time-consuming focused ion beam (FIB) methods and produced pipettes that are typically hundreds of nanometers in diameter. We report a simple and rapid production method for SECM-SICM double-barrel probes with apertures down to 20 nm in diameter. The characterization of these SECM-SICM probes using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and Raman spectroscopy is also detailed. These SECM-SICM probes were subsequently used to study the morphology and electrochemical activity of several samples, ranging from hard metallic/insulating samples to live cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFunctional Imaging of Materials-Advances in Multifrequency and Multispectral
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event2011 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
    Duration: 2011 Nov 282012 Dec 2

    Publication series

    NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
    ISSN (Print)0272-9172


    Other2011 MRS Fall Meeting
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityBoston, MA

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Materials Science(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering


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