Operando Nanoscale Imaging of Electrochemically Induced Strain in a Locally Polarized Pt Grain

Dina Sheyfer, Ruperto G. Mariano, Tomoya Kawaguchi, Wonsuk Cha, Ross J. Harder, Matthew W. Kanan, Stephan O. Hruszkewycz, Hoydoo You, Matthew J. Highland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing new methods that reveal the structure of electrode materials under polarization is key to constructing robust structure-property relationships. However, many existing methods lack the spatial resolution in structural changes and fidelity to electrochemical operating conditions that are needed to probe catalytically relevant structures. Here, we combine a nanopipette electrochemical cell with three-dimensional X-ray Bragg coherent diffractive imaging to study how strain in a single Pt grain evolves in response to applied potential. During polarization, marked changes in surface strain arise from the Coulombic attraction between the surface charge on the electrode and the electrolyte ions in the electrochemical double layers, while the strain in the bulk of the crystal remains unchanged. The concurrent surface redox reactions have a strong influence on the magnitude and nature of the strain changes under polarization. Our studies provide a powerful blueprint to understand how structural evolution influences electrochemical performance at the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 11


  • coherent X-ray imaging
  • electrochemical double layer
  • nanopipette electrochemical cell
  • operando electrochemistry
  • platinum catalysts
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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