For my biophysical chemistry mini-project, I looked to improve current Scanning ElectroChemical Microscopy (SECM) techniques by introducing height control, and imaging at the nanoscale level.
Height control was implemented into traditional SECM by using Intermittent Contact SECM (IC-SECM). This involves oscillating the ultramicroelectrode (UME) probe as it approaches the surface, and using feedback to keep this oscillation constant.
The UMEs were made from a quartz glass capillary with a platinum wire sealed inside it, and could be pulled to a diameter of ~300nm.
The UMEs were then tested on gold bands (for reliability) and nanowires (for resolution), before attempting to image maize root hairs.
Images showing reactivity of gold bands (left) and nanowires (right)
An SEM image of a Pt UME