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Designing of an in-situ AFM cell for the nanoscopic study of electrochemical deposition
1  Faculty of Engineering, May University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
2  National Institute of Chemistry, P.O. Box 660, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3  Department of Physics, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, 11835, Egypt
Academic Editor: Manoj Gupta


The electrochemical cell is designed with a conductive substrate (working electrode) where deposition takes place within a three-electrode cell. In order to complete the electrochemical circuit, the cell has been equipped with a counter electrode and a reference electrode. The cell additionally incorporates an AFM probe, which serves as a scanning instrument for characterizing the deposited structures as well as a localized contact for triggering the electrochemical processes. The materials used in the cell components are chosen with care to ensure compatibility with the electrolyte solution and to minimise interference or contamination.

In-situ AFM imaging and characterization methods, such as tapping mode, are utilized for tracking the deposition process in real time. The high-resolution imaging capabilities of AFM allow observation of the deposited structures' surface topography, grain structure, and growth kinetics. Correlating the AFM results with the electrochemical parameters allows for a thorough knowledge of the growth mechanism and structure-property connections.
The development of an effective electrochemical cell for in-situ AFM deposition opens up new possibilities for studying electrochemical processes at the nanoscale. The combination of precise control over deposition conditions and real-time imaging capabilities provides valuable insights into the growth mechanisms and paves the way for the design and fabrication of advanced functional materials with tailored properties for various applications.
The aim of this study is to design an electrochemical cell for in-situ Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) deposition, facilitating the controlled growth of thin films or nanostructures on a conducting substrate. The combination of AFM and electrochemical deposition allows for real-time monitoring and precise manipulation of the growth process at the nanoscale. This research focuses on the key design considerations and optimization parameters for an effective electrochemical cell that enables the in-situ characterization and control of the deposition process.
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Keywords: AFM, Simulation, FEM, electrochemical deposition, nanosturcture