Due to the small size and extreme fragility of nanoelectrode surfaces, gentle plasma treatment is the optimal method for numerous electrode cleaning applications. The most popular alternative cleaning processes include mechanical polishing and washing with organic solvents. These chemically harsh methods have the potential to change nanoelectrode size and geometry and complicate replication of nano-electrochemical experiments. In contrast, plasma treatment on low settings can be used to remove organic contamination from electrode surfaces without effecting bulk properties.
Unlike most other cleaning methodologies, plasma treatment is isotropic (all directional), all surfaces exposed to the plasma are effected by it. As a result, plasma treatment is capable of removing residues that may go untouched by liquid solvents or polishing. Plasma breaks down and removes organic contamination that can interfere with electrode performance. For example, after plasma treatment, the maximum thermopower of graphene films was enhanced by oxygen plasma treatment from ∼80 μV/K to ∼700 μV/K in a study by Xiao et al. In the following papers, you will find examples of plasma treatments effective use in the cleaning of electrodes.
Relevant Articles from Harrick Plasma Users
- Ben‐Amor, Salem, et al. “Oxygen plasma treatment of platinized ultramicroelectrodes increases sensitivity for hydrogen peroxide detection on mitochondria.” Electroanalysis 25.3 (2013): 656-663.
- Sun, Tong, Pierre-Yves Blanchard, and Michael V. Mirkin. “Cleaning nanoelectrodes with air plasma.”Analytical chemistry 87.8 (2015): 4092-4095.
- Xiao, Ni, et al. “Enhanced thermopower of graphene films with oxygen plasma treatment.”Acs Nano 5.4 (2011): 2749-2755.