Infrared Nanospectroscopy: a Unique Pathway to Characterize Electrochemically Active Solid-Liquid Interfaces and Interphases
The advancement of basic energy storage science faces many challenges. Two such experimental challenges are (i) nondestructively accessing buried electrochemically active interfaces and (ii) characterizing such interfaces with (down to) nanometer scale resolutions. In this talk, we focus on introducing infrared nanospectroscopy (nano-FTIR) as an ideal candidate to overcome the aforementioned challenges. We provide an operational explanation as to how nano-FTIR breaks the diffraction limit to enable the collection of vibrational spectra from spatial regions with nanoscopic extent. Thereafter we move to motive the use of nano-FTIR on electrochemical interfaces, in particular the solid-liquid interface, and demonstrate the unique advantages that such approaches facilitate. These advantages include the ability to spatially and chemically characterize buried nanothin interphases that grow at solid-liquid interfaces, in their native environment, with nanoscale precision. Finally we discuss relevant hurdles and opportunities broadly related to the exploration of liquid environments and solid-liquid interfaces with nano-FTIR.