Electrochemical Science and Technology in Nanoscale Domains

Henry S. White
Department of Chemistry
University of Utah

Electrochemistry in nanoscale domains is the driving science underlying several emerging technologies in the fields of energy storage, molecular electronics, and chemical sensors. A relatively unexplored issue is whether the principles employed to describe the behavior of macroscopic electrodes require modification as the electrode size is reduced to nanometer dimensions.  Experimental measurements and computer simulations of single nanoscale electrodes will be presented to demonstrate that both molecular transport and electron-transfer rates (and, thus, the current) do not obey classical predictions as the electrode is reduced to nanometer dimensions, a consequence of the increased importance of interfacial fields as the electrode size is reduced.  The consequences of these phenomena are demonstrated using proposed “nanobatteries” in which the anode and cathode are separated by a few nanometers.