Electrochemical strain microscopy with blocking electrodes: The role of electromigration and diffusion

A. N. Morozovska,
S. V. Kalinin

I. M. Frantsevich Institute for Problems of Materials Science of the NAS of Ukraine, Krzhizhanovsky str., 3, Kyiv, 03142, Ukraine
Journal of Applied Physics - Melville, USA: American Institute of Physics, 2012, #111


Electrochemical strains are a ubiquitous feature of solid state ionic devices ranging from ion batteries and fuel cells to electroresistive and memristive memories. Recently, we proposed a scanning probe microscopy (SPM) based approach, referred as electrochemical strain microscopy (ESM), for probing local ionic flows and electrochemical reactions in solids based on bias-strain coupling. In ESM, the sharp SPM tip concentrates the electric field in a small (10–50nm) region of material, inducing interfacial electrochemical processes and ionic flows. The resultant electrochemical strains are determined from dynamic surface displacement and provide information on local electrochemical functionality. Here, we analyze image formation mechanism in ESM for a special case of mixed electronic-ionic conductor with blocking tip electrode, and determine frequency dependence of response, role of diffusion and electromigration effects, and resolution and detection limits.