We recently demonstrated that improvements to our technique, laser confocal microscopy with differential interference microscopy (LCM-DIM), has rendered it fully capable of resolving monatomic steps with heights of ca. 0.25 nm on Au(111) and Pd(111) surfaces, even as low as 0.14 nm on Si(100), in aqueous solution. In this paper, we describe in detail a method to prepare and characterize, via atomic-layer-resolved LCM-DIM, ultraflat Pt(111) and Pt(100) facets over a wide surface area. The preparation of ultraflat surfaces is important in the characterization at the atomic scale of electrochemical processes under reaction conditions. To showcase the elegance of LCM-DIM, the anodic dissolution of Pt in aqueous HCl is briefly recounted.
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