Confocal microscopy for simultaneous imaging of Cu electrodeposit morphology and adsorbate fluorescence

Dean S. Chung, Richard C. Alkire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used in situ during electrochemical experiments to track localized fluorescence patterns of adsorbed organic agents and to correlate such adsorption with changes in surface morphology accompanying electrolysis. In solutions of 5 μM DiOC6(3)/0.01 M H2SO4, with and without 0.05 M CuSO4, confocal imaging revealed that DiOC6(3) adsorbed to polycrystalline Au and inhibited cathodic processes occurring there. In the absence of dissolved Cu, DiOC6(3) adsorption on Au remained unaltered by changes in cathodic potential up to -750 mV (SSE). During Cu electrodeposition at -550 and at -650 mV (SSE), adsorbed DiOC6(3) restricted nucleation of Cu to a small number of active sites where Cu grew hemispherically; and DiOC6(3) adsorption was maintained across regions where nucleation had not occurred. Instantaneous nucleation was approached under such conditions. When DiOC6(3) was present, copper growth proceeded according to the Volmer-Weber mechanism at -650 mV (SSE). Results from secondary ion mass spectrometry indicated that DiOC6(3), or a derivative of it, was incorporated into the deposit during Cu electrode-position. During electrodissolution of Cu on Au at 0 mV (SSE), adsorption of DiOC6(3) occurred predominantly at surface sites of Cu rather than Au.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1536
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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